What is Bibliodrama?
Bibliodrama uses role playing to investigate the bible in an exciting and lively way.
Bibliodrama, called Bibliolog in much of Europe, is a form of role playing or improvisational theatre using Bible stories. It can take place in any group with an interest in the Bible: synagogues, churches, seminaries, study groups, etc. In Bibliodrama the director reads through the selected text, stopping at points of interest to invite participants to step into the role of a character, or even sometimes of an object, and give it voice. Deriving from the Jewish tradition of midrash, Bibliodrama explores the unspoken in the lives of the characters, the “back story” or “subtext” in the written narrative, even the spaces between the words, to bring the Bible alive. Bibliodrama honors the written text and never contradicts the biblical account, though it deeply explores and challenges biblical meaning. It becomes a window into the Bible and at the same time becomes a mirror in which participants can recognize parts of themselves. See “Bibliodrama: A Call to the Future”.
The term “bibliodrama” comes from the world of action methodologies where it refers to using any text as a platform for investigation. There are people world wide doing bibliodrama with the Bible using a variety of different forms and serving a variety of intentions. Some may have seen Peter or Susan direct, read “Scripture Windows,” or had a background in psychodrama, quickly caught on to the idea, and saw that they could do it. In Europe a variety of bibliodrama sprang up at about the same time as it did in the United States. Clearly it was an idea whose time had come. We use the uncapitalized word “bibliodrama” to represent all forms of biblical role playing and the capitalized “Bibliodrama” or “Bibliolog” to signify this text-centered method as we have presented it in our trainings in the US and Europe. Bibliodrama was never intended to be restrictive, but we make this distinction, so that people who want a careful adherence to the Bible will know they can count on that in Bibliodrama/Bibliolog. See also History of Bibliodrama/Bibliolog.
See Peter’s History for a short example of the first Bibliodrama which he conducted.