Interaction drama describes a unique training methodology used by Organization Twenty-One, Inc. (O-21). Professional actors are placed in a classroom setting to demonstrate typical workplace challenges. The following is an excerpt from the NIH Record.
A lot of respect is in perceptions, explained an O-21 trainer. “I can only guarantee one thing about today’s session,” he said, opening a recent course at NIH, “and that is that at some point, we all will see the same situation in completely different ways.” Respect, he added, begins when we begin to acknowledge and accept perceptions besides our own.
The objectives of the training session are made clear at the outset: Students will discuss key elements of verbal and nonverbal communication, identify communication problems and explain approaches to working through conflict in a positive, respectful manner. A four-person professional acting troupe, which accompanies Johnson, makes each scenario come alive in a way that training videos cannot. In addition, many of the scenario details — unique policies, settings and language — are customized for NIH, adding realism, and frequently humor, to the learning experience.
“I enjoyed the class very much,” said one attendee. “The time went by very fast. By the time I looked at my watch, it was time to go. I felt engaged for the entire 3 hours…Having the parts acted out makes a strong and lasting impression.”
7 Reasons Why You Should Use O-21’s Interaction Drama Training Approach
- We use well-prepared professional actors who can effectively convey the cultural dynamics required, therefore reducing the likelihood of introducing or reinforcing stereotypes.
- We can find the actors to represent any culture, race, gender or disability convincingly to show the values and the feelings of an individual from the group they represent.
- Our dramatizations and vignettes are specifically designed for the client’s culture, allowing the participants to identify with experiences portrayed because we use client~specific issues, language and locations.
- Participants actually interact with well-prepared professional actors who stay in character. This creates a “skills practice” environment that enhances learning.
- Using actors alleviates the anxiety that many participants feel in role-play situations.
- Using Interaction Drama allows our Master Trainers & Facilitators to focus on what is happening, and coach participants in the specific learning objectives that the vignette is trying to convey.
- We use the right actors for the right job!
Select NIH Participant Comments Regarding the Use of Interaction Drama
(COURSE: SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION)
- The role playing (actors) in the Lab setting really stimulated good conversation and was thought-provoking.
- The acting sessions were very effective and provocative.
- Excellent and practical course!
- Timely scenarios.
- The live demonstrations showing different sexual harassment situations was the most beneficial part of the course.
- The interactive nature of the course was great! The knowledge of the trainers as a team.
- The actor/actress… Great!
- Interaction with the actors added so much to the class.
- Examples by acting were helpful. Our interaction with the actors was realistic and appropriately uncomfortable.
- Excellent method of training.
- This was hands-on, thought provoking.
- Well done!
- This was effective in making one think of the complexities of the problem. I enjoyed it.
- Worth attending.
- I expected very little. I was surprised, positively by the way it worked out.
- The actors were very helpful in visualizing situations.
- The most valuable aspect is that the discussion allows us to understand the responsibilities associated with supervision and learn how to deal with sexual harassment.