8 Image Theatre

This technique involves physical or verbal sculpting of a partners body into an image relating to an issue or moment in the scene. As there is no dialogue in Image Theatre, audience members might interpret images differently. This technique can also involve ‘re-sculpting’ images in order to generate new meaning. Images created may be realistic or metaphorical, lending to a variety of interpretations. (See Who Would You Like to Work With? in chapter 12 for an example of Image Theatre.) An extension to this activity would be to take one sculpture or image and have the audience re-sculpt it to gain new meaning. (See Better? for an example of this technique.)

Considerations while Jokering

  • If learners are standing as statues, give them time to rest as needed.
  • If a learner is re-sculpting and physical contact is being proposed, always ensure consent before beginning. If the person being sculpted declines contact, this must be respected with no questions asked. The sculptor will then give verbal instructions for the re-sculpting of the statue. Verbal instructions for sculpting is an alternative for online facilitation.

Examples of Image Theatre

  • But I’m a Good Person (See Chapter 19)
  • Better? (See Chapter 20)


Haunting our Biases: Using Participatory Theatre to Interrupt Implicit Bias Copyright © 2022 by Kevin Hobbs; Michael Martin Metz; Nadia Ganesh; Sheila O'Keefe-McCarthy; Joe Norris; Sandy Howe; and Valerie Michaelson. All Rights Reserved.

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