From 2 – 4 December, Teatr Grodzki facilitated 3 days of online training workshops, on the use of puppetry and storytelling to support different groups experiencing social disadvantage or who are at risk of social exclusion.

The main aim of these workshops was to enable participants to use puppetry techniques as a creative and playful method suitable for supporting vulnerable people in their self-development. Puppetry helps to develop personal stories, to express emotions, needs and thoughts, to tackle sensitive issues and to motivate for change.

By the completion of the training programme the participants were able to:

  • build a simple puppet out of ordinary materials and animate it, as well as teach others how to do it
  • use different objects to enhance creativity, self-expression and develop the courage to take up new challenges
  • apply the rules of non-verbal/visual storytelling to the creation of a theatrical piece
  • apply the rules of non-verbal/visual storytelling to working with vulnerable workshop participants on their personal problems
  • design and run their own workshop programme with the use of puppetry and theatre storytelling

These workshops took place as part of the Restore project, which uses theatre methodologies to support different groups experiencing social disadvantage or who are at risk of social exclusion.

Using theatre as  methodology to support people from disadvantaged areas and communities including those at risk of social exclusion, is a long established practise.  There are numerous examples of socially engaged arts practice to be found across Europe highlighting the benefits and effectiveness of using theatre as a  creative methodology for working with people of all ages exploring and addressing a range of social concerns. The artistic medium of theatre  is used to develop key competences and skills, to increase confidence and self-esteem and to promote social inclusion.

The Restore European partner project aims to promote cooperation and an exchange of best practice amongst seven European organisations to increase training opportunities for professionals working in the field of socially engaged theatre practice. The aims are to promote social engaged theatre practice as an effective tool to promote social inclusion for adult learners experiencing disadvantage and to strengthen cooperation and facilitate the exchange of good practices in the field of non-formal education among partner organisations. The project will create a professional profile for the role of a Theatre Facilitator working in social and community contexts;  develop a training course for a Theatre Facilitator working in Social and Community Contexts; and  identify methodological guidelines for validation, accreditation and certification at national levels.

More information on the Restore project available here.