May and June saw us do something very different and rewarding.
We collaborated with Cindy Diver from Theatreworks to create and run a training session that included verbatim theatre. We interviewed a real patient who had had uncomfortable experiences dealing with our host organisation. An actor recreated the edited interview word for word, gesture for gesture, allowing us to present this patient experience in a compelling way.
Our job was to weave training content around the story and facilitate role-play sessions with the participants, focusing on the organisation’s values, communication skills and teamwork.
People who attended the sessions found them very powerful and moving. There is no doubt that the verbatim theatre was the star of the show! Our training content and role-plays helped participants to reflect on the performances; develop insight; and practice communication skills. Our participants were laser-focused on what could be done to prevent such uncomfortable patient stories in future.
Although this kind of presentation incorporating verbatim theatre is unusual for us, it reinforced to us the power of theatre for taking people out of themselves and bringing real stories to life. These are the very things that make role-play with professional actors such a powerful tool for training. The actors help workshop participants to suspend disbelief and enter a realistic work-place scenario.
Hats off to Cindy and our three actors- Jodie Bate, Lindsey Shields and Alex Wilson - for doing such a great job with the theatre pieces; and congratulations to the pilot group of trainees who helped us fine-tune the presentation.
We have our fourth run of this half day workshop coming up and the audience of 30 is filling fast. We are thankful to our client for taking a punt on this innovative workshop. They are thrilled, saying it has completely exceeded their expectations!