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Why it is important to design Theatre programmes that enhance employees’ mental wellbeing?

Mental health and wellness is a sector that is going to attract more attention in the coming years as stress and depression increase. Most people will seek help as awareness increases. Stress levels are rising among employed Indians owing to growing uncertainty in jobs in a highly disruptive environment as well as increasing anxiety in personal lives, studies have revealed.

Increasing stress has, in turn, led to a surge in the number of people who are suffering from depression and are at high risk of suicide. Employers, therefore, face an increasing challenge of dealing with workers who are not only personally depressed but may also adversely impact the productivity of their organizations.

Ashutosh Panday, Cofounder, Elate Wellbeing, said: “The key problems faced by professionals include poor health, work-life balance, relationships, drop in job performance and alcoholism/smoking. Freshers are not able to sleep well and have immense stress. Employees who are married and have children struggle with work-life balance. All this takes a toll on their body and mind, leading to decreased performance at work.”

WeMove Theatre

,Bangalore is

 an organization that exists to support people in recovery from poor mental health. We provide creative workshops and theatre interventions that focus on mental well-being, teaching people coping strategies and developing a greater understanding of their own mind, where to get support and how to support others.

Why use theatre?

Unlike HIV/AIDS, mental illness has not acquired the desired attention as far as creating awareness is concerned. Additionally, the conventional methods of using pamphlets, posters or electronic media may have limited effect on the rural population due to their low literacy levels. People with low literacy can be given health-related information by watching and listening, rather than by reading alone. Theatre, especially folk theatre, street theatre, or forum theatre are popular means of conveying educational information in such rural communities.

Theatre and its application in mental health

Theatre as an educational tool is used:

  • As a creative method of public education

  • To challenges stereotypes, stigma and misconceptions

  • To personalize issues for audiences due to its “live” nature

  • As a feel of “direct contact” that film and other education forms lack

Is often followed by


of issues

  • Most importantly, in the context of the


    can be an effective approach to educate illiterate people through listening and watching.



Many interventions using theatre may have been tried to improve awareness, but they have not been evaluated. In fact, many movies on mental health issues have been successfully made to not only to educate the audience but to also entertain. Research shows that using drama to raise awareness of a particular social or health issue can result in a range of impacts on audience members of all ages including: increased knowledge of the topic presented, positive attitudinal changes towards people with the specific conditions addressed (including mental health problems), and improvements in intended future behavior relating to health behaviors or help seeking. There is also some evidence which suggests that experiencing theatrical performances live achieves greater affective responses than video recordings of the same performance. Furthermore, young people involved in the development and performance of issues-based community theatre can experience a range of positive mental health impacts stemming from their participation such as improved self-esteem, confidence and improved capacity for self-expression.


Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.

The D&I workshops by WeMove Solutions® at a reputed IT Company have now acquired a new flavor breaking all the stereotypes of training. But, how???

Well we use the science of Theatre for it. Here is a chronicle on how it all happened.

This was the agenda with which we started the session. About 20 plus Managers were a part of a journey to understand and implement the importance of diversity and most importantly how to embrace the same and also get its utmost benefits as being a Manager.
The day was started off by the WeMove facilitators to charge up all the participants with high energy theatre interventions such as, ‘Twist with colors’, ‘Rolling Frames’, ‘Builder’ and many more to set a perfect tone for the rest of the day and give the importance of the intervention.

The workshop began with participants receiving a colored piece of paper having a sentence that contributes to be a part of many bigger stories with the same protagonist. In the journey of finding the bigger story, the participants travel through a path of breaking their preconceived notions about receiving colored chits, later on decoding the reason of the paper being colored and finally being a part of a team irrespective of their work background, experience, perspectives, opinions, followings, gender and so on. Later on each team gets an opportunity to choose different leads amongst their team members to take up different responsibilities for the upcoming tasks. Each Lead gets different responsibilities from shaping the team members to an object to building pictures out the team members and so on.

The workshop ended with a high energy performance by all the participants, which gave each participant to understand and implement Diversity and Inclusion within their teams. The performance was a journey were a team worked towards building a still image being led by one of its team member who shaped all of them to a marvelous image by involving every team member to their best. The team members willingly are a part of image and react based on Manager’s instructions. At the end the Managers shared their insights about Diversity and Inclusion, and also their realizations about how an Organization needs diversity and how important it is to practice the same.



Gone are the days when a degree was enough to get you a job. No more is a piece of paper highlighting your core competencies and skills the criterion to get employed. In fact, for the last few months a few surveys are being done on the real issues the corporate sector in India is facing when they are hiring talent. A few stats pointed out that about 80% per cent of the respondents feel entry level hires/graduates are not even job ready.

One of the core skills that is not only denying the employment, but also being a career roadblock for these graduate hires is Problem Solving.

Theatre for Problem Solving

Theatre is one field that helps you improve your problem solving skills. In theatre one always believes that “You’ll know that no matter how big the problem may seem, it always has a solution. The rehearsals might have been brilliant, everything could have been planned perfectly but on the stage anything could go wrong”. Also a person in Theatre would end up working across multiple domains. This not only would increase the Problem Solvingability of a person but also would help one seamlessly transform the learning to which ever domain or role one moves into. An exposure to Theatre will help increase a few very important aspects of problem solving.   

Creativity in Problem solving:

Working in theatre you are exposed to new challenges every day, but with the limited resources one does not have the liberty of experimenting with solutions. This would help one develop the skill of finding solutions that would work in diverse situations, which leads to development below aspects of problem solving.

  • Helps increase in creative ability & think outside the box.
  • Identify a problem & evaluate more problems that could occur.
  • Thinking on feet & Let’s you consider unusual ideas.

Collaborative Solutions: 

In the world of theatre, will give the opportunity to put yourself in another person’s shoes and look at the world through their eyes. You’ll open your mind broader to understand your acquaintance’s situation. This would increase the scope for idea sharing & collaboration, which leads to development below aspects of problem solving.

  • Collaborate & share ideas, talent and other resources to achieve the goal.
  • Brings in positivity, playfulness, supportiveness.
  • Creativity helps you focus and channel your thoughts into ideas easily.

Complete Solutions: 

Theatre is an ocean of opportunities and experiments. Working in Theatre you will understand your strengths & limits better & will know when to say yes and say ‘No’, with the intention of what works the best. This helps one develop the below aspects of problem solving.

  • Identify that a problem can have more than one solution.
  • Helps to connect results and goals.
  • Teaches flexibility which in turn helps in finding solutions.



Theatre is one field where you always will indulge in more than one theatre related activities. A person entering the Theatre world to be an actor would end up in also doing script writing, directing, lighting or other production related activities. An exposure to Theatre will help to work across multiple domains by seamlessly transform the learning. But apart from this ability Theatre also teaches a few very important aspects of life, which is required.

You’ll learn how to trim and manage your Budget:

Working in theatre, the resources are always limited & you will have to make adjustments. With the limited money you have, you will need to manage the Actors & other technicians, manage their travel & to top it off your personal expenses too. An experience of being a production manager or a producer will push the artists to think on the right areas of investment & returns, before spending.

You’ll understand ‘Being on time’

School, college, work place, everywhere we go in life, we’ll hear some or the other person tell us ”please be on time”. School might have let you skip assembly and enter class 5 minutes late or your boss might have just stared at you as you walk in 10 minutes late and not say a thing. In theatre, every single minute matters. Whether being on stage or during the rehearsals, you can’t afford to waste your co-artists time, or disturb your director’s plans. Even a minute delay from one of them in the team is bound to disrupt everything. This will build in a sense of responsibility towards others time & you’ll leave the lazy cough and begin to act as a responsible, punctual adult.

You’ll learn to use the golden word – No.

Theatre is an ocean of opportunities and experiments. There are amateur groups and professional groups with different methods of working. An artist might rush to grab every opportunity at first. But, as time will pass by, you will understand your strengths & limits better & will know when to say yes and say ‘No’, with the intention of what works the best.

You’ll find many more reasons to respect your fellow human beings

In the world of Art, not only will you be hearing more stories and interacting with all kinds of people. The characters you play will also give you the opportunity to put yourself in another person’s shoes and look at the world through their eyes. You’ll open your mind broader to understand your acquaintance’s situation. Working with different kinds of people will help you broaden your horizons and indulge a little less in criticism and more in respecting one another.

You’ll know that no matter how big the problem may seem, it always has a solution

The rehearsals might have been brilliant, everything could have been planned perfectly but on the stage anything could go wrong. Your fellow-artist may forget their dialogues, a piece of your costume can go missing but your survival skills will kick-start instantly and you’ll receive the support of your team. In the end, when the performance finishes, all the problems faced and efforts made pays-off and you’ll understand the possibility of finding solution to every problem when acted upon calmly.