Julia Anne Caple ’20

Project TitleForum Theatre for Sexual Assault Prevention
Other Student Participants – Beverly King ’20, Becca Porter ’19
Mentor – Ed Kahn

For our Fall semester tutorial on Theatre for Social Change we were challenged with completing a project that relates to anything that we had learned in the class. As a team we decided to research the methods of Boal's Forum Theatre, specifically past projects relating to Rape Prevention. Very early on in our research we realized that there were few scripts to analyze, and so the direction of our project changed to creating our own Boal-style script. Succinctly as possible, forum theatre is where you present the audience a situation in which someone is oppressed by someone else in the scene, and then the audience gives feed-back on what could have been done differently by either bystanders in the scene, or the victim themselves, in order to change the outcome, hopefully for the better. There were many challenges presented in the information regarding scriptwriting for forum theatre, from the struggles of making the problems presented have somewhat obvious solutions that the audience can suggest, to making sure the script doesn't allow for people to easily victim-shame, which would render the whole script pointless. In the end, our script changed from revolving around three separate interactions taking place at one party, to having one person be the common thread between two sexual assaults, and he is reflecting upon the fact that he feels guilty afterward and feels that there were actions he could have taken to prevent the assaults from happening, which effectively lead to audience intervention that forum theatre requires. In the future we hope to produce the show and potentially even make it into an educational video that colleges could show to help educate students on how to recognize the warning signs of an assault, and then intervene, potentially preventing a sexual assault.