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Theatre of the Oppressed
Transcript of Theatre of the Oppressed
Augusto Boal was a Popular Brazilian playwright and theatre educator who developed a politically charged form of theatre called theatre of the oppressed in the 1970s. His work landed him in trouble with the Brazilian government and he was imprisoned, tortured, and banished for the civil unrest his theatre had unleashed. Later the different forms of the theatre of the oppressed were used less to cause a political stir and more as a form of psychological therapy.
The basic concept of Theatre of the Oppressed is to turn spectators into "spec-actors": to get the audience involved in the performance either physically or through manipulating the actors.
Meagan Holter, Amanda McClees, Jessica Coston, Ellis Dyson, Tiffany Breedlove
Includes a variety of activities and workshops
Designed to develop skills of observation and cooperative group interaction.
Use of body to make images that solutions to concrete problems (genocide, racial profiling, etc.)
Invisible theatre a form of the Theatre of the Oppressed in which the spectators do not know that the skit is only acting and therefore react to it honestly, as a real life situation.
This type of theatre is extremely powerful in that it can reveal without disguise real cultural and individual attitudes, and teach lessons in a real, lasting way.
Image Theatre Cont'd.
Cop-in-the-Head: Begins with actor recounting personal battle with oppression. Goes from particular to general.
Rainbow of Desire: Individual recounts a true personal story of oppression and how he/she failed to solve the problem. A skit is designed around the story and the skit is changed when the audience offers solutions.
Signifigance of Forum Theatre
In forum theatre it is vital that the audience come onto the stage to perform the action themselves. They must practice putting action behind their ideas so that they are empowered, even in the simple circumstances of the skit. It not only helps them think through all the necessary steps to evoke change in the play, but also reinforces what must be done to evoke real change in their lives.. Through this they are empowered and made free.
Theatre of the Oppressed
The purpose of engaging the audience is to free them to think about the play and make a difference, rather than simply watch and react. Typically, this type of theatre has a lesson or tries to solve a problem, one that the audience figures out and creates for themselves. It forces them to practice turning their ideas into action and enables them to do so through the Joker system.
Forum theatre is a type of theatre of the oppressed in which actors perform a skit demonstrating a form of oppression. The skit usually presents a problem the audience is familiar with in the first performance, and afterwards, the audience has the opportunity to intervene in the action and act themselves to find an ideal solution.
The Joker system is the means by which the audience gains control over the action. The Joker is an audience member who influences the action of the skit either by taking their place or manipulating the situation.