A professional service
Théâtre Dérives Urbainesis a professional theatre company that was founded thirty years ago in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Throughout this time, the company has been able to combine an original artistic approach (new works) and consulting services for organizations and businesses that wish to communicate information creatively to their employees, members or clients. The main service offered by the company is industrial theatre for informational and training purposes.
Theatre: a training and team building tool
The type of professional service offered by the company is known as on-demand theatre, made-to-order theatre customized theatre or industrial theatre, though all of these designations refer to the same practice. We provide our clients with an informational and training tool that respects their organisational culture and values and that allows for thinking outside of the box by creating an experience that is much more memorable than traditional tools of communication.
The company’s clients include organizations that care about training, or wanting to increase public awareness of an issue to a target audience or professional corporations wishing to bring their members to reconsider their approach to certain problems. These clients can attest to the effectiveness of theatre and of the results obtained.
The reason for this effectiveness lies in the quality of the texts produced by our authors and in the theatrical experience itself: the audience is in direct contact with the performers, who know how to convey the subject matter through entertainment. We believe that a problem that is illustrated by a performance has greater value and impact than a formal presentation on the subject. It remains important to clearly define the objectives, the message to convey and the target audience so that we select the approach that will best meet our clients’ expectations.
In order to do so, we offer professional services and four types of theatrical interventions that can be used for information and training purposes:
- Traditional plays
- Forum theatre
- Invisible theatre
- Role play
Needs analysis and consultation
It is sometimes difficult for our clients to identify the form of theatre that would be most likely to respond to their needs and choose the messages that can be effectively conveyed. We therefore offer consulting services that include needs analysis, the selection of priority information or training purposes and recommendations concerning the theatrical tool that would most be able to obtain optimal results.
We can also provide the services of a professional facilitator who is familiar with the content of the play and the theatrical techniques used and who will be able to make the most of the performance and especially be able to elaborate the messages conveyed by the play and to situate them in the organization’s particular context.
Tools for intervention
Videos for training purposes
Here is an example of a video production illustrating bad and good practices in the area of company visits.
Traditional plays : the most popular form
These consist of short performances (15 to 20 minutes) built around a particular theme intended to increase public awareness on specific issues. Because this type of theatre is very popular with our clients, we have covered a wide range of topics in sectors as diverse as language training, home support of elderly, gender equity, as well as several managerial issues. The play is usually followed by a question period that is facilitated by the client or a trainer.
Some examples of traditional plays:
Vieillir au Pavillon
About the impacts of aging resources and clientele.
About social housing.
About employee assistance services.
Respect above all things
About psychological harassment in the workplace.
Occupational burnout among office workers.
Abus of power at home and in the workplace.
Forum theatre, a powerful educational tool:
This type of performance illustrates problems and invites the audience to suggest solutions to resolve them. The play is performed once to provide an overview. Before it is presented a second time, the host, better known as the Joker, encourages the audience to interrupt the action, replace one of the actors and through improvisation, to suggest their own solutions to the problems encountered. This form is often used to raise awareness with specific audiences, such as teenagers and minorities or any group dealing with situations of conflict.
A Few Examples of forum theatre:
Racial or religious discrimination
A play about the main reasons that students drop out of school.
There was once Sylvain
The process that leads young people to join a street gang
Invisible theatre, for the daring:
Invisible theatre consists of introducing unidentified professional actors in the context of a social event (a cocktail, business dinner, happy hour), a conference or training activity. In the latter cases, the form most used is the mock-conference, which allows our actors to speak in all seriousness about issues that directly concern an audience and have them shift into absurdity. This is a good way to awaken the audience’s critical sense and demonstrate that, in all areas, one needs to beware of ready-made formulas.
A Few Examples of invisible theatre:
About the demographic changes and generational conflicts within the Public Service.
Finding balance between professional and private life.
About the growth of the ecological footprint and its impact on the future of humanity.
The characteristics of a true leader.
Minority workplace integration difficulties
Role play, to select or train employees:
Role plays are used essentially to recreate real life situations for job interviews, internal competitions or training sessions. In an interview, the objective of role playing is to assess the candidate’s reaction when faced with a client or employer who poses a particular problem. In the context of training sessions, role playing puts into practice newly acquired knowledge pertaining to interpersonal relations or it can serve to illustrate specific difficulties related to customer relations. A list of various cases we have worked on is available upon request.
Theatrical animation, let the festivities begin:
The company also offers its services to special event planners or organizations wishing to hold garden parties, golf tournaments or special events. Our animators can greet participants, be the main entertainers on stage or mingle with audiences on site or in an indoor hall. The company usually supplies the necessary technical equipment, costumes and set pieces.