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Theater is an enormously  practical and mature discipline with millennia of experience in understanding and shaping worlds and emotions. Discover what the performing arts can offer us for the engaging prototyping of services and workshops, for better collaboration, ideation and user research.

Though we work in a digital setting, we discuss, and offer the opportunity to explore, the application of these techniques and concepts in both offline & online facilitation.

Session 1

Improvisation in design and innovation

Improvisation – in theater, in jazz music, and in all arts forms – has much to offer the designer and is a great springboard into the rest of this course.

Session 4

Using concepts of Status and Role

Role-development techniques for deeper empathy. Using our own voice, posture and movement to vary our relative status and run the room.

Session 2

Building empathy:

Playback Theatre

A powerful technique to explore viewpoints and multiple truths within a story, deepening or challenging our research insights.

Session 5

Embodiment and simulation:

investigative rehearsal

Rehearsal is theatre's main tool of inquiry and creation. We look at how investigative rehearsal can be used in design research, prototyping, & implementation.

Session 3

Dramaturgy, safe space

and structure

How structure can be used to make work more effective or experiences more satisfying, and how we set up a safe space for creative work.

Session 6

Own projects, deeper investigation

An offer to bring your own facilitation challenges, develop strong solutions with your faculty and peers, and practice in a safe space.


It’s fair to say that we threw ourselves into the activities. By this point we were all confident in doing them, and most importantly, we felt confident and trusting in each other.

- Mike Press, Director of Open Change and emeritus professor of Service Design



Image from in-person version of course.

Theatre is a centuries-old way of simulating and exploring reality, unfolding possible futures, and creating empathy and understanding in an audience. It offers us a variety of useful perspectives and applicable methods: from investigative rehearsal and playback theater to storytelling and role work; from embodiment of different mindsets to recognising and shaping behaviour and environment.

Theatrical methods can be applied by designers and UX/CX professionals to better understand your users or colleagues.  They are also the ultimate prototyping tool, able to simulate and investigate anything the human mind can imagine.  And of course they provide a wealth of tools for the facilitator. 


Images from in-person version of course.

Technology play-date (Zoom + Miro)

In this course, we will use the online tools Zoom and Miro extensively. To allow you to get familiar or even better with the use of these tools, we invite you to a 20 minutes online play-date in our dedicated online sandbox. Come play with us 20 minutes before the start of the course!

Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash


Sorry, no dates are on the calendar just now. Try the physical version instead?


Normal price €890

  • application of theatrical tools – in physical and remote environments – for facilitation, research, ideation, prototyping and implementation in innovation projects

  • critical aspects of human behaviour that are central aspects of theater, like status and role, and  how to take them into account in your workshop and project planning

  • unique methods and exercises that will add to your service design, UX or customer experience toolbox

  • structures and methods for improving project outcomes by setting up a safe space for creative collaboration

  • what an engaging dramaturgy looks like, and how we can apply it to both the experiences we create and the way we create them

  • how to better enable co-creation and how to lead people in creative work against possible inhibitions

  • applying these concepts to offline facilitation and project work


  • work in small groups

  • experience co-creation and facilitation with peers 

  • connect with others in an online setting

  • enjoy a mix of action and reflection

  • share with other professionals and world-class experts

  • explore facilitation in a fun relaxed environment

  • experience engaging methods of digital facilitation


  • designers (service design, design thinking, innovation), user experience and customer experience professionals who want to broaden their skill set and abilities in terms of theatrical tools

  • facilitators who are looking to improve their workshop delivery and impact

  • anyone interested in improvisation and theatre, and how to apply it in service design and customer experience work


  • Access to computer (laptop or desktop recommended; tablet can work, smartphone NOT suitable).

  • A small space to move in 

  • Paper, Pen, sticky notes. 


English, with German assistance available. Let us know if you need any language assistance - send us an email to


Maximum number of participants: 24

Minimum number of participants: 10​



Anna- Lena Kühner

Anna-Lena is a professional theatre director and customer experience facilitator who has been exploring design for several years.  As an empathic, lively expert on interactive environments and investigative rehearsal practices, she uses her skilled eye for subtext and timing to help shape customer experiences that match the tone and requirements of any service situation.  When she's not guest-starring at the CoCreation School, Anna-Lena can be found managing festivals and directing – or occasionally acting – in first class theatres throughout Germany.


Adam Lawrence

Adam connects the worlds of business and showbusiness. For years he has worked in large organisations, using his experience of theatre, film and storytelling to help people work together better – running great projects, developing amazing workshops, and creating value for their users, customers and colleagues. ​Adam is lead facilitator at the CoCreation School, co-founder of WorkPlayExperience, co-initiator of the Global Service Jam, Adjunct Professor of Service Design Thinking at IE Business School, and co-author of This is Service Design Doing.

Refund and cancellation policy for online courses

We will refund your ticket fee if you cancel your participation up to 7 days before the course start date. If you have to cancel your participation between 6 and 0 days before the course start date, we will not be able to refund your ticket. However, you may pass on your ticket to another person for the same course at the same date.

Payment and invoice

You are able to pay online with credit card, Paypal or by requesting an invoice which will need to be settled by bank transfer immediately. Your registration is completed ONLY when your payment has been received. Payments and invoices are handled by our Swiss-based Co-Creation School partner Sparks Sàrl, who will communicate with you about these matters. All ticket fees are expressed in EUROS, no VAT or handling fees will be charged.

Additional terms & conditions

All materials provided and shared during and after the online course are free of use, however they are under copyright and are owned by WorkPlayExperience and Sparks Sàrl, partners of The Co-Creation School. Alumni do not acquire ownership rights in any of these materials and agree not to reproduce, modify or distribute any of the materials received from or provided. If you would like to receive copying rights, please reach out to us. We’ll figure something out!

Co-Creation School subscribers receive information

about upcoming prototypes and pilot sessions first. No spam, we promise.

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