Readings and presentations are important sources of learning. However, nothing captures people's attention and engages them in the problem-solving process in quite the same way as witnessing an incident and questioning the participants.
What was he thinking? Why didn't she try this tactic?
Did she think about this aspect? What is he planning to do next?
Each Interactive Theatre session has three components.
- First, actors present a scenario on the selected topic.
- Then, at the conclusion of the scenario, the audience asks questions of the characters regarding their thoughts, feelings, motivations, and actions.
- Finally, a facilitator processes the group’s responses, applying the scenario and subsequent discussion to real-life situations.
The purpose is to provoke awareness and discussion, not stereotypes and easy answers. While the Interactive Theatre company is well versed on the scenario topics, they should not be viewed as experts on the subject matter.
"The Talking To"
This scenario highlights racial and other differences among colleagues in the work environment. Discussion topics cover issues such as orienting new employees, humor in the workplace, and the power in numbers.
"Something's Wrong" relates to sexual harassment. Following the scene, topics for discussion will include a definition and examples of sexual harassment, as well as myths about sexual harassment.
- The topic of this scenario is sexual harassment in an academic setting.
"The Remark" explores both unfriendly environment and sexual harassment, dealing mainly with gender dynamics in an academic setting. Discussion following the scene includes how to create a productive and comfortable environment in both a learning and workplace setting.
"Learning the Ropes"
This scenario highlights the challenges associated with supervising employees, dealing with difficult co-workers, and pressures toward conformity. It also explores issues involving new employee orientation and followership.
"A Job Well Done"
This scenario is primarily about how we respond to change. Why do some of us resist change while others are quick to embrace it? The discussion focuses on change management, leadership, and reward and recognition.
"Ranking" relates mainly to diversity in the workplace. Highlights of this scenario also include challenges that may occur during hiring processes, issues involving office rank, and the importance of acknowledging cultural diversity in the workplace.
What is respect and how can we show it to everyone? Using an administrative assistant’s desk in an open area as the setting for the scenario, we see multiple instances of disrespect. The discussion following the scenario highlights types and causes of disrespect and well as strategies for building more respectful environments.
"The Fix" focuses on managing conflict in the workplace. Dialogue during the question and answer segment following "The Fix" includes topics such as the roots of interpersonal conflict, the organizational costs for unmanaged conflict, and the importance of reflective listening in workplace relationships.
"The Path "
Faculty promotion and tenure are explored in "The Path."
"The Field "
"The Field" navigates the tricky waters of interviewing and selection. How can you tell which candidate is best and how to make the interviews fair and illuminating for all involved, particularly when a candidate has a disability?