With forum theatre - Without the violence
Various studies show that the nature of criminal activities committed by youngsters has changed – thefts and robberies have been replaced by more frequent drug dealing or violent offences (bullying, rape and assault). Recently, Lithuanian mass media has been overwhelmed by cruel and unmotivated homicides committed by teenagers.
These examples indicate that the grounds of juvenile crime are related not only to social circumstances such as poverty, but also to the psychological and domestic difficulties of youth as well. Stereotypes and attitudes formed by mass media, easily available drugs, violent material, pornography, weakened family and local community bonds, tension and distrust in society, the increasingly rapid pace of life, permanent changes and instability – all these issues pose new challenges for contemporary youngsters. Unfortunately, psychologically vulnerable young people usually lack a positive, helpful and supportive environment.
According to the National Crime Prevention and Control Programme, a positive change in the criminogenic situation in Lithuania will only be seen if progress in social and cultural-spiritual spheres is made by using creative, involving and innovative methods. In order to ensure the effective prevention of juvenile crime, it is very important to focus on community empowerment, youth self-expression and encouragement, social skills education, as well as encouraging society to correct these problems.
While implementing the prevention of youth crime through this programme, all activities have been based on the following fundamental principles: relevance, creative processes and community involvement.
The method of the Forum Theater is as follow: during the performance the audience stop the action and suggest an alternative course of action. During each performance discussions about the story, characters and their behaviour take place. The audience then express their opinions, find a better solution to the stage conflicts. Young people can see their problems played out on the stage and have a better understanding.
The project started in 2005 and is now finished.
Last review: January 2020.