Journal of Futures Studies

Forward Theatre: An Introduction

by Sabina Head

ABSTRACT

Futurists build scenarios for clients and are concerned with effectively communicating them. Stories provide frameworks and aim to engage audiences with entertainment techniques that include more than rational thinking and analysis, by exploring alternative futures involving characters and events as individuals deal with issues brought about by a new situation. Stories work at multiple levels including the most profound, offering new insights and patterns of thinking. Theatre can present characters in relationships, who ‘show the story’, reacting to events in the ‘here and now’, for audiences who remain semiobjective observers while developing empathy with the characters in their concrete, if temporary future. In the process, audiences are exposed to futures thinking, extending possibilities for change. Forward Theatre is a discovered genre for exploring futures issues that has potential uses for futurists.

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Journal of Futures Studies

Tamkang University, Tamsui Campus
Taipei, Taiwan 251
Tel: 886 2-2621-5656 ext. 3001
Fax: 886 2-2629-6440

ISSN 1027-6084