Creative Debate youth & community

Use the power of art to enable social change

 “Empathy is the most powerful weapon”
Augusto Boal


What is Creative Debate?

Creative Debate uses theatre and media to equip participants with the skills to communicate, fine-tune public speaking and support personal growth in view of taking ownership of their future.

Creative Debate Youth & Community enhances learning, social awareness and leadership skills complementing the statutory programme of secondary schools, colleges and universities.

The programme is also embedded in the activities of youth groups and community centres, augmenting personal development for young people, migrants and refugees, including speakers of English as second language, and participants with Additional Learning Needs, those at risk of offending, as well as adults from a range of background, including those affected by trauma, senior citizens and those with refugee status.

The goal of this technique is to support participants to gain confidence in expressing their views, creating a safe environment for unprejudiced dialogue and ultimately liberating and empowering young people.


How it works

The techniques develop directly from Forum Theatre. The group is called to listen to a story, watch a film, a play or a piece of news relevant to real events. After sharing in the experience as spectators, participants engage in facilitated debate and identify issues directly relevant to their own experience. The group is then called to create a new work – a scene, a play or a short film based on their personal views and experience –in response to the original story and changing its outcome for the better.

In practice: read about #Haters youth and community programme

Watch Connected, the latest film made by young participants to the programme.



Artistic Director Emilia Teglia developed Creative Debate over the course of two decades of work in participatory theatre. Emilia  trained with Augusto Boal and Adrian Jackson through Cardboard Citizens, she holds a BA Hons in Theatre Studies and a MA in Cultural History with a dissertation on Theatre of the Oppressed. In 2010, she set up Accent on Acting, a pilot project using Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to give a voice to people with experience of migration. The project developed into Odd Eyes Theatre, a charity using theatre and film to open communication between people from different socio-economic background and walks of life.

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