Addressing human needs
Applied theatre uses theatrical methodology and employs it to help people understand and rehearse solutions to their problems. The ATC investigates these methods, trains people in these methods, and then creates unique programs for organizations to employ our artists in utilizing these methods. Generally speaking, applied theatre techniques address human needs in two ways:
By addressing personal, psychological or spiritual needs. In these methods we invite people to learn more about themselves, their history, and to try out new ways of living in the world as healthy human beings. Drama therapy is one broad category of methods often used in dealing with these kinds of needs. Drama therapists are highly trained, and certified, individuals; the ATC does not employ theatre as therapy without using artists who are trained in the techniques of drama therapy. Other methods include role playing, sociodrama and a variety of games developed by Augusto Boal, primarily Image Theatre.
By addressing social or political concerns shared by a group of people. Sometimes the challenges an individual is facing come from outside themselves, from their peers or society. Applied theatre allows a group of people to “rehearse for reality” (to borrow a term from Boal) together. Forum theatre (also by Boal) is a highly effective interactive theatre method for expressing and then solving a social problem.