Picture Other Voices: A conflict transformation drama project

Journal article

Ingleson, D. (2021). Picture Other Voices: A conflict transformation drama project. ArtsPraxis. 8 (1), pp. 185-199.
AuthorsIngleson, D.

This project explores how immersive and Forum Theatre can be used to help resolve conflict in school. Kate Beales and Dawn Ingleson worked with 8–11 year-old children from a London Primary School Federation. Inspired by the picture book, Voices in the Park, by Anthony Browne, workshops included applied theatre methodologies and drew on conflict resolution models including, Nonviolent Communication (Rosenberg, 2015), Systems Theory (Walker, 2012) and Philosophy for Children (Lipman, 1988, Glina, 2012) to create a simultaneous community of inquiry and practice using versions of Forum Theatre (Boal, 2019) and Process Drama (Taylor, 2005) via a journey of immersive practice.

The children were invited to resolve a conflict having chosen a character to follow. In immersive theatre, ‘Audiences must make choices about where they go, the characters they follow and the rooms they find. They choose the show they see’ (Higgin, 2017). The experience involved the audience deliberately privileging some aspects of the narrative over others—just as participants would in a conflict.

This paper discusses the findings of the project demonstrating that the children could explore broader perspectives than those visible and express empathy in their reflections on character behaviour. Findings are valuable for Headteachers looking to improve school ethos, inclusion and inhibit social barriers to learning.

KeywordsConflict resolution, immersive theatre, participatory theatre, theatre in education
Journal citation8 (1), pp. 185-199
PublisherNew York University
Web address (URL)https://sites.google.com/nyu.edu/artspraxis/2021/volume-8-issue-1/ingleson-picture-other-voices
Publication dates
Print15 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Jan 2021
Deposited16 Jun 2022
Accepted author manuscript
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