There are several different ways of using theatre to communicate evaluation findings and engage intended users in responding to them.
Traditional sketches are developed from evaluation data (especially interviews and focus groups) and may also portray evaluation findings. Actors perform a sketch and then exit. The sketch is followed by a discussion among audience members guided by a facilitator.
Interactive sketches are provocative vignettes that engage audience members in thinking and talking about evaluation issues and findings. Following an interactive sketch, the audience discusses their reactions with the actors, who stay in character, again guided by a facilitator who also provides data from the evaluation. After the facilitated discussions, actors repeat the sketch, changing it according to the outcomes of the audience discussion.
Forum theatre workshops use role-playing. A facilitator presents evaluation findings; participants can be both actors and audience members. Participants create mini-scenes based on evaluation findings and their own experiences. These are dynamic in that participants can move in and out of acting roles, and actors can change strategies mid-scene. A facilitator then elicits questions and leads discussions about each mini-scene. (Stetson 2008)
Using Forum Theatre to evaluate education
Using forum theatre to explore parents’ perspectives on child immunizations
Advice for choosing this method
"It is a powerful way to communicate evaluation findings, especially those on sensitive topics to groups. For example, these kinds of role plays have been used in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa to communicate findings on stigma related to HIV and AIDS." (Stetson 2008, p. 29)
Advice for using this method
Follow drama with "a sequence of open questions, such as: What did you see happening here? Why does it happen? How does it happen in our situation? What can we do about it?" (Stetson 2008, p. 29)
A brief section in this book on page 29 is dedicated to drama and role-playing in evaluation presentations.
ppreCIC. (Producer). (2010). Barriers to immunisation part 1. [Web Video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DzoCZIffKnM
ppreCIC. (Producer). (2011). Using forum theatre for evaluation of education. [Web Video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/SAJoeBVkXqI
Stetson, V. (2008). Communicating and Reporting on an Evaluation - Guidlines and Tools. Retrieved June 20, 2012, from http://www.crsprogramquality.org/storage/pubs/ME/MEmodule_communicating.pdf
Torres, R.T., H. Preskill, and M. E. Piontek. 2005. Evaluation Strategies for Communicating and Reporting: Enhancing Learning in Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
'Theatre' is referenced in:
- Communication for Development (C4D) :
- Rainbow Framework :