Using forum theatre as university widening participation (WP) for social well-being agendas

Ross W Prior

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This article traces a case study of how participatory theatre is used to make a positive impact on the widening participation (WP) agenda for one particular university in the United Kingdom. The WP agenda is a philosophical position taken by the UK government to restructure access to higher education and is underpinned by notions of equality and diversity to improve social health and national well-being. The project titled H.E. for me ? is a joint venue between academic staff and students on a BA (Hons) Acting degree programme and several external partners. H.E. for me ? aims to provide sixth formers with helpful information and insights into life at university. This innovative approach to dealing with WP uses the well-established convention of forum theatre in fulfilling objectives which give young people the opportunity to explore and interrogate HE related issues. Accounts of the lead in period and the creative engagement phase of the project are offered, as well as the research outcomes. This article identifies the impact of, and the lessons emerging from, this pilot (intended to become an ongoing programme) and raises several pertinent issues relating to the researchability of applied theatre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-191
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Arts and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


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