Explore Conflict Theatre with Your Team

Using forum theatre techniques, teams in the UBC workplace can practice key conflict engagement skills to help them develop better work environments. These performances, workshops, and activities offer an embodied, experiential approach to learning that is unlike other available training or seminars.

The benefits of Conflict Theatre include:

  • Strengthening empathy and understanding for multiple perspectives within conflict
  • Fostering a curiosity-driven approach to conflict, rather than one that is confrontational, fearful, or defensive
  • Gaining a better understanding of how conflict arises, what keeps it going, and how to help navigate conflict
  • Encouraging self-reflection to better understand your own emotions, context, perspective and patterns during conflict
  • Creating a sense of community and learn a shared language for handling conflict

Current opportunities for teams and departments include:

To book a performance or skill development session, please contact us at conflict.theatre@ubc.ca. Together we review our offerings and your needs, and allow you to choose the type and length of the workshop best suited to your team.

Conflict Play Performances

What if you could rewind and re-play a difficult conversation over and over, seeing how it might be changed if you just did one thing differently? Maybe you already do this in your head before (or after) a conflict. Conflict Theatre performances are an interactive theatre experience that allow audience members to reflect on conflict, recognize shared struggles, and rehearse new strategies – without the high stakes of real life.

How it works:

  • Participants witness UBC stories of conflict developed and performed by faculty and staff (the Conflict Theatre troupe)
  • As audience members, participants can replace characters and try their own strategies to intervene and change the how the conflict unfolds
  • Available in 60 – 120 minute sessions
  • 10+ participants recommended

Skill Development Sessions

These sessions are an opportunity to use a series of embodied exercises to build capacity for constructive conflict engagement. Participants reflect on personal challenges, interpersonal dynamics, and systemic structures through activities and games that offer a new way to look at old patterns. It is a great introduction to some of the ideas and strategies of Conflict Theatre, which can be customized to your team’s needs.

How it works:

  • A trained facilitator leads the group through active exercises, often taking the form of games or activities. You will receive a customized experience based on what you want to address as a team
  • Available in 2 hour sessions or more, including multiple day sessions
  • 12+ participants recommended

Rainbow of Desire

Rainbow of Desire is an opportunity to understand how our personal fears and desires can create both internal and external conflict.

How it works:

  • To begin, participants act out a real story of conflict (solicited from the group), and then we deconstruct the internal struggles of the people in that conflict. By the end of the session, participants put their new knowledge into action by rehearsing alternative endings to the story of conflict, based on a deeper understanding.
  • Available in 2 hour sessions or more
  • 15+ participants recommended

Cops in the Head

Cops in the Head is an opportunity to explore and then move beyond the internalized, unhelpful “voices” in someone’s head that might influence them in conflict.

How it works:

  • Participants act out a real story of conflict (solicited from the group) and then explore the origins of those “voices” to reflect on how personal history influences us during conflict and sustains negative patterns. Then, we consider how to counter those negative influences and rehearse alternatives.
  • Available in 2 hour sessions or more
  • 15+ participants recommended

For more information about our skill development for teams and departments, please contact us at conflict.theatre@ubc.ca.

Download a handout of Conflict Theatre offerings for teams here.