Educational theatre as the place of raising inclusion and employability of people with disability - Manual for Educators

Type of tool: 
Energizer - Icebreaker
120+ min
Topics addressed: 

E+ C1 Manual provides educators with a step-by step description of drama-action model that is suitable for achieving educational, artistic, research, or advocacy/activism goals and working on any social schism issue and with any age group.


The general purpose of the tool is to convey drama-action model to other educators and all others interested in working with marginalized groups or working on social problems. The Manual describes the process of drama-action model, it shows few exercises that can be used in the process and it describes the experiences of the participants in an evaluation section – so that others can see the effects that drama-action model has on the participants, as described by the participants themselves.


Educathe+ Manual is a tool based on drama-action model that was developed by sociologist Ivan Hromatko. The idea of developing this stems from Michael Burawoy’s call for “public sociology”, or, sociology that addresses the public needs and goes beyond the “simple” publication in scientific journals but rather immerses itself into its research subject (society and its problems) and implements its scientific findings in the “filed” so to start positive changes in the society.

The drama-action model itself is based on sociology of knowledge and theory of social construction of reality by Berger and Luckmann; the definition of social stigma and dramaturgical analysis by Erving Goffman; and on the theatre based, contemporary rite of passage developed by anthropologist Victor Turner. It uses Turner’s three stages of rite of passage and builds on the aforementioned theoretical framework by using a combination of various drama practitioners approaches (Boal, Schechner, Strasberg, Chaikin, Bogart etc) and Kurt Lewin’s action research process to achieve educational, research, artistic/cultural goals. As each drama-action model based workshop ends with a public performance, this tool is also useful as means for advocacy or specific positive social actions or for raising visibility and awareness among the general public.

Step by step process: 

The basic process includes three stages of Turner’s rite of passage.

1. Separation stage
In this stage, the participants are invited to leave behind their everyday roles and social reality and to embrace a new, alternative social reality of symbolic theatre (freedom from roles, critical thinking and intense interaction). This is done by using either heightened physical activity (e.g. ice-breakers, group dynamics exercises, drama practitioner’s exercises) or through meditation and relaxation.

Duration: 15-30 minutes

2. Transformation or liminiod stage
In the second and the longest stage, the participants take up their new roles and explore the new, alternative reality. They exchange roles and explore themselves, others, the venue of the workshop and the subject they wish to explore (social problem). To achieve that, the participants use various drama practitioners’ exercises for developing group dynamics, imagination and visualization.

They also use the participatory action research process, so to stay focused on the goal (defining positive actions that help us overcome social or personal issues such as discrimination, prejudice, stigmatization etc.). That process follows the basic action research spiral:
a. Action research spiral:
i. Reflect
ii. Plan
iii. Act
iv. Observe/Reflect
This is a dialectic, “never-ending” spiral of redefining knowledge and positive actions.
Those actions are then acted upon and participants use them to build their public performance in which they will show their positive actions (actions that help overcome specific social isseus).

Duration: 60-90 minutes

3. Re-incorporation stage
In the last stage, the participants are symbolically reunited with their everyday roles and social reality – but now after being “enriched” for the learning and interaction process of drama-action.
Here is where a circle is formed and participants share their experiences, assess the good and the bad and plan their future “actions” (that lead to the final performance). This discussion takes for of a focus group (with moderators) but it can also include various drama practitioners exercises (e.g. for stage presence, voice) and exercises in public speaking/debating.

Duration: 15-30 minutes

This process is repeated every day of the workshop and, in our experience, the workshop of 5 days is enough for participants to build enough materials and to get encouragement (and concrete acting and drama knowledge) from the organisers to feel confident and ready to perform in front of a live audience. Of course, a longer and more intense process helps participants learn more and develop their skills and performance better.

Materials and resources: 

There is no obligatory materials or resources that need to be used.

Drama-action model based educational workshop, much like Turner’s symbolic theatre can be held at any place (theatre hall, classroom, meadow) – as long as the participants agree that the space they are using symbolises the values of symbolic theatre.

However, it is advisable to have a flipchart and markers (or at least some papers and post-id papers) - so that the solutions that participants provide don’t get forgotten and the group can build on their work.

It can also be useful to have various items that can help participants “transform” into their new role (e.g. clothes, wigs, masks etc.), but the workshop can be held just fine without those items.

If the purpose of using drama-action model is scientific research, then the process should be recorded with a camera.
The same goes for the final performance – since the video recording helps raise awareness and disseminate the results of your activity to a larger (wider) audience.


1. Knowing how to build your own educational workshop based on drama-action
2. Knowing at least 10 exercises that are useful in the process of drama-action workshop
3. Understanding the importance of a holistic approach for achieving positive social actions/changes. Or, understanding that your educational process should involve scientific background, research, (non)formal education and performative arts.


Each drama-action model based workshop, including the one on which this Educathe+ Manual is based on, undergoes research and evaluation. In order to capture the potential effects of the activity, the participants undergo pre-activity survey and post-activity survey. Their insight is presented in the Educathe+ Manual, as an integral part of sharing the experience of drama-action model workshop.

Notes for further use: 

Drama-action model is a framework that you can fill with various other activities.
You can mold it to your educational, research, civic activism, artistic or cultural goals.

Tool Fair upload: 
No votes yet
Share this tool by

DISCLAIMER: SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Toolbox Statistics