Social-Specific Theatre in Practice

Involving “Real People” Into the Process of Theatre Creation

I have been involved in theatre since I was 14 years old. I always wanted to “do theatre”. But for a long time, I had no idea what “my theatre” was like. I have tried hard to find my place in theatre. After a long search, my journey led me to a theatrical format, which is professionally called “documentary”, sometimes “social-specific” theatre. Together with my collaborators I have invented a specific method of creation combining real stories with light design, sound design, multimedia and many “non-theatrical” activities. All of this has happened through ongoing theatre practice and experimentation.

I believe that through theatre we can tell authentic stories which would otherwise remain hidden. It is why I like inviting “real people” into the creative process. In work with “real people” I am driven more by their personality, cultural and occupational background than their professional training in theatre. I focus more on their unique inner beauty, individual stories, mystery and vulnerability. Their lack of theatre experience might seem like an obstacle at first glance, but for me it is an advantage on which the creative process can be built. I have recently come to realize that I have been using different kinds of “obstacles” from the beginning of my involvement in social-specific work, without consciously being aware of it. Looking back from where I stand now, I can say that inviting obstacles into the creative process has been the core element of how I work with untrained performers.

In this practical handbook I will share personal discoveries I have made while creating theatre as well as teaching. All the games and exercises I present in this handbook have been tested at many rehearsals, workshops and theatre events that I have led in many places over the last 20 years.

This handbook is intended for theatre professionals, amateurs, teachers, social workers and everyone who would like to apply this methodology to broaden and enrich their own work. And surely it is for all who are excited about the transforming power of theatre!


The development of Social-Specific Theatre in Practice handbook was supported by: