Theater Sessions and Role Play

Theater and role playing are powerful learning techniques. Theater has the ability to make abstract concepts concrete by making them come alive and putting them into action before one’s eyes.

One can consider role playing as learning-by-doing; jumping into the swimming pool and learning how to swim. Instead of learning through memorization or reading a book, theater and role-play allow the role-players and the observers to actively employ their problem-solving skills and apply different solutions to different situations.  

At each Ida seminar, we use theater sessions and role play to provide participants the opportunity to reflect on their own clinical practices and to view their actions in a new, different light.

Role play allows seminar participants to test how they would act when placed in imagined, clinical situations. And unlike jumping into the ocean and either sinking or swimming, role-play allows seminar participants to test different methods and techniques in a safe, comfortable environment. Actors are used to play a set of imagined, pretend characters such as colleagues, clients, and managers. Seminar participants are then asked to enter the imagined situation and test different ways to handle the situation. In this way, role play allows one to learn about clinical practice by acting in a particular situation and then having the opportunity to reflect on the different actions.

Below are examples of how we have used role-plays in our previous Ida seminars. We hope that you can observe the role-plays, reflect on your own clinical practice and consider how you would act in these situations.

Enabling Communication Partners

This series of role-plays come from Ida’s seminar series on communication partnerships. In each of the role-plays, you will view seminar participants playing the role of the audiologist and attempting to constructively incorporate the person with hearing loss's communication partners into the consultation session. 

As you watch the role-plays, contemplate how you would have managed and engaged the communication partners in each situation. How would you respond when a communication partner (spouse, teacher, etc.) starts to become an obstacle to progress during a consultation session? How do you involve a communication partner so that instead of being an obstacle to progress, they support the person with hearing loss during the change process?

Motivational Engagement

In these role-plays, seminar participants are asked to play the role of the audiologist and speak to imagined clients who are on different steps on the phases of change outlined by the Ida Circle tool. By opening a conversation with the imagined client, the audiologists attempt to gauge the extent of the person with hearing loss's challenges and have them come to the realization that they should change their behavior.

As you watch the different situations, consider how you would employ the Ida Motivational Tools to better gauge and address the client’s motivation to change.

Defining Hearing

This set of role-plays comes from our first seminar series titled “Defining Hearing.” The purpose of the role-plays are to showcase a number of different real-life situations that audiologists often find themselves facing in a consultation session. Both situations shine light on how audiologists can address the concerns of a communication partner, while still focusing on the clients needs and perspectives. 

As you watch the two situations, reflect on how the audiologist handles the situation and what questions they ask to open a conversation. What questions would you ask the person with hearing loss and communication partner? How would you enable them to see their situation differently and reflect on the reasons why they should take action on their hearing loss?

Previous Seminars

Managing Change

Managing Change


Motivational Engagement

Living Well

Living Well with Hearing Loss


Communication Partnerships

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear Implant Journey

Defining Hearing

Defining Hearing