The Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI) are excited to introduce a series of three videos called #theatregamesin90seconds, a condensed version of applied theatre training in quick, fun, and easy-to-learn video segments. The Ontario CLRI at Baycrest developed the applied theatre approach in 2013 to train direct care and support services staff in LTC on the harder-to-reach skills crucial to resident quality of life and care: non-verbal communication, empathy, and awareness of self. The videos offer a way to scale this approach across the province; they give concrete strategies and debriefing prompts that even the most novice educator can use to introduce applied theatre training in a variety of learning environments.
“The theatre games videos were created in response to feedback from interested educators about the need for ‘bite size’ learning opportunities that could be viewed in a simple and quick format from any device at any time,” explains Melissa Tafler, interprofessional arts-based learning specialist with the Ontario CLRI at Baycrest.
The Ontario CLRI at Baycrest held four Train-the-Trainer Applied Theatre workshops in 2018. Each event was met with enthusiasm and excitement from participants:
- “The workshop was amazing! I’m so inspired to go back and ‘play’ with our team.”
- “I loved this workshop, felt I have learned a lot and am leaving with a fuller ‘toolbox’.”
- “This took me out of my comfort zone.”
Applied Theatre Games Explained Applied Theatre Games Explained
For those new to the applied theatre games, this training approach uses facilitated theatre activities and games in non-theatre settings to teach skills in communication, perspective taking, empathy, personal development, and team building. The approach is effective because it relies on simple exercises that offer accessible entry points for staff at all organizational levels.
Participants engage in a range of facilitated theatre exercises and then debrief as a group to pull the learning out of the experiences and apply it to the practice setting. Learning is experienced through the whole body so that knowledge can be absorbed in multiple ways. The group talks about a concept and then uses theatre exercises to experience the concept in real time and reflect on what it actually feels like.
The games offer opportunities for people to step out of their clinical and service roles and meet together in creative spaces where there are no right or wrong answers. This encourages freedom to share thoughts and ideas in a safe way and to step into another person’s perspective.
Penguin is a simple game that helps set the tone for a more embodied way of working and learning. Penguin can be used to highlight how groups communicate and organize to achieve a shared goal. For more info check out our introductory video on YouTube – search #theatregamesin90seconds.
Hypnosis is an exercise to help participants consider a deeper understanding of leadership dynamics. It highlights how effective leaders are attuned to the needs of the group, and may shift their leadership styles to meet those needs. For more info check out our introductory video on YouTube – search #theatregamesin90seconds.
The Great Game of Power helps learners explore perceptions of power through the construction of visual representations. This can lead to discussions of what power looks like and how power dynamics influence the workplace. For more info check out our introductory video on YouTube – search #theatregamesin90seconds.