Who is the STO? What are its specific features and requirements? What kind of services does it deliver? The preliminary research carried out by partners started to give the first answer to this questions.
The main goal of this phase of the project was to outline the state of the art at European and national level concerning the employability and professional condition of the STO, as well as to define the standard requirements of the STO professional profile.
Hereafter you can find the results produced by the research conducted by two partners: Magenta Consultoria and Teatr Grodzki.
Magenta Consultoria has been contacting different local, regional and national organisations which work and support different disadvantaged groups through various theatre practices. In Spain, it is common to talk about “teatro aplicado” and “teatro comunitario” as if they were interchangeable terms; indeed there is a slight difference between these two expressions. The first one is seen as the umbrella term, which encompasses community theatre: a theatre from, by and for the community. Community theatre, in general, aims to channel and catalyze the artistic expression of community members, for which they have the mediation of an artist or “facilitator”. Similarly, Teatr Grodzki has been recently contacting representatives of local institutions supporting disadvantaged persons that work closely with theatre and art practitioners.
As a result, the first definitions of “Social Theatre Operator” were formulated by the two organizations as follows.
“STO is a person who understands the psyche – mind and feelings of workshop participants and is able to build a community which creates art.”
Director of a state puppet theatre
“The most important and essential feature of the STO as a professional is the ability to create good relations with socially vulnerable people. STO is someone who can manage the group and finds appropriate working methods for everyone, despite participants` different needs and constraints.”
Director of a self-help centre
“STO must be sensitive and open. He/she must also have practical skills and knowledge of how to work with a group. The only way to find out if a specific person we want to employ is suitable for working with disabled people is to put him/her into work with the target group and see what happens.”
Director of an occupational therapy workshop