Money and Theatre Methods

Money, a Public and a Private Good

Approaching through History and Theatre Methods

1. ‘Starter’

Collective Brainstorming: what’s in my mind when I associate „money“?
Statue theatre: „Money means for me …“
Statue theatre is a creative and joyful mean to stimulate learner’s approach to an issue. He/she can shape and express what comes in her/his mind after getting to know some aspects of the theme. Statue theatre allows an exchange among the group, thus mutual learning.
The participants are divided in two groups. The one are the „sculptores“, the other the „objects“. They come in pairs together. The „sculptor“ creates a shape of his „object“ following the own association regarding „money“. (Attention: The facilitator shall emphazise that all keep respect to the other.) The „sculptores“ gives the ‘art product’ a title afterwards (on a sheet of paper to be layed down). They leave the room. After a while this group re-enter the scene, but as visitors of an exhibition. Each „sculptor“ explains the whole group his/her work. An exchange can start.

2. Shells, Salt, Gold and Air: History of Money I

Input about the emergence of credit money (see Euro, work 4.0 & others)
● Issues:
-Money as a mean to exchange goods; the transition to bills of exchange; the ban on interest; gold security amount bills
-Credit as a means of payment (money)
– What about the money coverage? Is money funded in an intrinsic value (like gold), by the existing goods or by the state?
-The problem of hoarding money
– Who creates money?

3. The Bank of England: History of Money II

● The Bank of England and the two-stage banking system in the industrial age
● Issues:
– The Role of a Central Bank
– Bank balance sheet
– Why correspond debts and assets in a credit money system?

4. Stakeholder Value – Shareholder Value

● Sociometry can be used to show how an enterprise is financed and to make a link between the financialisation of a company and the market model in which its act (seen in simple terms).
Sociometry, developed by the psychotherapist Jacob L. Moreno, is a method for showing social relationships. It reflects social structures as well as the position of individuals within a group. “Sociometric explorations reveal the hidden structures that give a group its form: the alliances, the subgroups, the hidden beliefs, the forbidden agendas, the ideological agreements, the ‘stars’ of the show.” (Moreno, see In our case, sociometry is applied to mark characteristics of stakeholder and shareholder value and differences between them.

Following the example of a toothpaste factory the facilitator showed who is ‘on board’ when it comes to decision making on future investments in the model of stakeholder economy: The factory owner, the manager of a bank, a representative of the trade unions, a component supplyer, a wealthy person who contributes to the assets. All are part of the managing committee as the governing body to gain influence on decision-making. Depending on the legal structure of a company does also a supervisory board exist. Each type of person was represented by a participant of the training’s group.

If the toothpaste factory were part of a shareholder value economy, the range of persons involved would differ, also their rights to také part in decision-making. The enterprise would get its money mainly from the capital market. Wealthy persons would ‘invest’ their money at the stock exchange (pre-condition: the enterprise is noted there) and buy bonds/stocks of the toothpaste factory. These stocks are the subject of trades at the stock exchange / bourse so that the market value is important. The market value results from the real development of the enterprise but also in the logic of demand and supply driven by speculation. In terms of the legal framework would there be no separation between managing board and supervisory board anymore. There were a „Board of Directors“ in which members are only elected by the share holders. Workers are not included, neither trade unionionists nor component supplyers. Banks give short-term credits to allow liquidity. In the stakeholder model, the bank gives long-term credits and a representative is part of the managing committee.

Learners take over different roles and provide a scene showing who is a player and who does not také part at all. Social measuring by it’s own body allow both experiencing and gaining insights on structures.

5. Current issues under trouble: The politics of low interest rates by the Central Bank

Newspaper Theatre: This kind of role-playing represents the first attempt that was made to create the Theatre of the Oppressed (Augusto Boal), by giving the audience the means of production rather than the finished artistic product. They are devised to help anyone to make a theatrical scene using a piece of news from a newspaper, or from any other written material like reports of an political meeting, texts from the Bible, from the Constitution of a country, the Declaration of Human Rights, etc.

Newspaper theatre is quite simple – in its basic form – and can easily be adopted in various educational contexts.
1. There is a range of articles, texts, etc. in the room. The participants chose the ones they want to work with.
2. The participants read the texts (possibly with different reading methods). They share their associations, ideas, opinions, the pro and the contra towards the article’s thoughts.
3. The participants create together a scene.
4. They play it to the whole group.
5. Discussion: Participants exchange about the topic, their feelings and perceptions.

6. Reflection

What games & exercises, what kind of theatre methods can I apply in my educational context? What about the pre-conditions to do so? What about the charming aspects of sociometry? What is needed to apply the method in my context?