Interactive theatre and use of Forum theatre increasing capability in critical conversations

Over the last two years ACT Australia has proudly delivered facilitated, live-theatre workshops at an annual Safety Day conference held by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group. We look forward to a third session in 2020 addressing some of the new issues since COVID-19.

The conference brings together contractors, employees, executive directors and CEOs from across Australia to provide vital operations updates on health and safety.

ACT Australia has teams in all states and the WA and VIC facilitators,cast and crew worked with the AGIG key stakeholders to deliver impactful sessions to support the ZERO HARM challenge.

Our programmes reference key safety concepts and tools as appropriate to the programme objectives. Themes like responsibility, risk perception and safety interventions were discussed and we created part of the facilitation objectives to include these. For the first conference we were conscious to include the senior leadership and the impact decision-making and leadership has on culture.

Using plays as live, interactive case-studies illustrates how even the smallest action, or inaction, can have the greatest impact when it comes to safety at work.

ACT Australia initiated our engagement of the target audience including senior leadership with Deepwater based on Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Known as one of the destructive economic, environmental and human disasters in oil and gas, the learnings have wide application for contractor industries and pipelines.

We broke the session into three acts and the facilitations in between allowed the peer-to-peer and leadership to workforce conversations that can only happen with such a strong catalyst for discussion. The people in the story could be them.

In the following year, we brought the impact of true stories closer to home in the delivery of YOUR CALL, a story set in a workplace that could also mirror their own.

The workshops are designed with the objective of re-engaging the AGIG teams on safety through a commitment to zero harm by applying a five-step critical conversation process, utilising powerful stories and challenging participants with the uncomfortable reality that what they’ve seen could happen to them.

A burst watermain necessitates an emergency excavation. As the weather worsens, light fades and the trench is dug. In the haste to finish the job, a man is trapped as the trench collapses and is crushed to death

In this dramatic safety workshop we witness the contributory factors, and we see the legal proceedings unfold against the Supervisor, his Manager and indeed the CEO of the company.

It was a highly interactive session where the attendees work on a causal factors analysis, seeing the results in the court case, and more importantly in the human impact of the families affected.

The aim of the workshop is to help people at all levels of an organisation understand their responsibilities under the Act, and the coming corporate man-slaughter legislation, and see how their decisions can have a major impact on the safety culture.


FORUM theatre, practicing critical conversations.

In forum theatre, participants engage directly with the characters to explore their behaviours and understand what motivates them, with regard to a certain scene.  The group can change the scenario by directing the actors, coaching them in different behaviours. The actors then adapt the group’s ideas and illustrate the result, repeating the scene in a different way. This process allows groups to observe, reflect with perspective, share views and experiment by applying their ideas in a live and safe environment.

We used this method to work with the attendees to illustrate how each of the characters, the manager, the supervisor and the operator could have prevented the incident.  This lead to the skills-building session utilising the 5 Steps to a Critical Conversation.

This production can be ready with 2 weeks notice. We also have a short filmed segment to view on request. Please email


For more information about customising this program for your workforce or leadership conference, in either live performance or a combined platform of live and streamed, please email or call 0458881434