Writing theatre


Writing theatre

Affiliation(s)/ Institution

Institute of Educational Sciences, Bucharest

Email addresses


Project funded by

Leonardo da Vinci Programme

Promoter name and country

Moiselle LeBlanc (Italy)

Partner(s) name and country (if applicable)

IRS Europa (Italy) Ce.r.is. (Italy) IEKEP (Greece) Elliot (Italy) Institute of Educational Sciences (Romania)

Type of provider


Area of implementation

  • urban
  • rural
  • EU

Context and motivation of the project - legislative background/obligations, institutional policy, institutional structures

Combating school dropout and early school leaving has been high on the agenda of both the European Commissions, as well as individual countries for some years. The motivation behind the project was to transfer an innovative way of approaching these issues to other countries and contexts. For two years (from 2009 to 2011) the experience of one Italian organization in using creative writing to engage at risk youth was adapted and experimented in several new contexts.

Aims of the project

Starting from a needs analysis of pupils at risk of social and economic exclusion, the intervention was aimed at preventing school dropout by means of empowering the target group to express itself by means of writing dramatic texts. A secondary aim was to improve the national education systems of participating countries (Greece, Italy, and Romania) to enable them to better support pupils at risk of dropout.

Target group

  • students
  • ESL
  • Guidance practitioners
  • Teachers

Description of the target group

The target groups of the project were: - pupils at risk of abandoning school (20 pupils in each transfer context) - teachers and trainers that were expected to use the methodology of the project in their work with at risk pupils - stakeholders within the educational system that could streamline the use of the methodology throughout educational establishments.

Staff (selection, evaluation, training, promotion)

The project staff in each country was made of: - a management team - theatre experts - trainers for the pupils

Methodological approach, activities implemented

The project has provided workshops for a group of teachers and trainers, which latter applied the techniques with at risk pupils. The training material was divided into 6 modules, that were further divided into 18 units. They were delivered in two stages: Stage 1. The contents regarding the theoretical and cultural background of theatre was followed individually by each participant. Stage 2. Practical works totalling 30 training hours on writing theatre and acting were delivered by experts in these fields. The training of teachers and trainers was focused on adopting models that strengthened their role as mediators in the educational process and enabled them to value and appreciate the abilities of at risk pupils. Those that participated in these trainings delivered practical workshops to small groups of pupils. They were selected from schools in disadvantaged areas and guided in writing theatre scripts on issues relevant to them. The theatre plays were afterwards presented through live representation in different contexts.

Results and impact - data of program internal/ external evaluation, beneficiary satisfaction, the impact of the didactical practices at individual and institutional level

The products of the project were: - a website and web platform, - a syllabus and training course materials, - a collection of theatre plays written by pupils - a video of a show at a theatre in Rome of one of the plays written. - several representations of the plays in different contexts (schools, theatres, etc.) The organizations involved in the project, alongside numerous other local partners were able to train a significant number of people in the use of the Writing Theatre methodology. This has translated in significant improvements in the ability of the schools they worked with to support at risk pupils. We think that the pupils involved in the project, as well as those involved after the project, in working with this methodology have had significant benefits regarding their personal and professional growth.

Conclusions, lessons learned

The activities were very well received by teachers and pupils alike. The project has provided schools with a hands on methodology of tackling school dropout. Some of those trained to use the method were school counsellors and they continued to use it during the years after the project has finished, with very good results

Directions of further development/ Transferability, replicability

From 2012 to 2014 Writing Theatre has had a follow up project called Writing Theatre at School, which has transferred the experience and methodology to other countries like the Netherlands and Germany. The aims and methods were similar to those used during the first project, but with more emphasis of improving the communication between trainers and pupils. It was also an opportunity to update the materials in the shape of a new manual, taht is available at: http://school.writingtheatre.eu/prodotti_en.asp

Type of ESL (early school leaving) practice

  • Prevention

Web references (url, social media presence)

http://writingtheatre.eu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gn6ioHqgFg

Parameters on which the practice is applicable (check those appropriate)

  • Methodologies of provision
  • Measures and profiles
  • Objectives and needs