Culture Magazine

Theatre of the Oppressed

By Aurorapowers @aurorapowers
In my first foray into community arts in 1991 I attempted a method called Theatre of the Oppressed, with a show entitled innabody. In this show I worked with 7 women under 25 to explore body image and eating disorders. We created a piece of Forum Theatre which asked the audience to actively solve the problems presented on the stage.
Here is an image from a Forum theatre I piece I did in 2007, entitled She.
Theatre of the Oppressed
This is a popular method of performance used in community arts, and I have used it several times since. Each time I have been part of the experience I have found it to be collectively transformative.
What is Theatre of the Oppressed?
Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) was created by Augusto Boal in Brazil, following the pedagogy of Paolo Friere. Friere, also from Brazil, wrote about 'bottom up' rather than 'top down' education. In this style both teachers and students decide upon curriculum and examination. Teachers and students share the same power, simply sifferent functions within the school.
In Boal's approach, rather than use theatre to proscribe messages to people, he uses performance to help people uncover their own desires. TO therefore distances itself from some theatre for development and theatre in education that proscribes health, education, or development messages to people. The stage is instead used as a place for the oppressed to critique and work together against the oppressor.
TO is made up of several performative forms, including Forum Theatre, Rainbow of Desire, and Newspaper Theatre and Legaslative Theatre.
Augusto BoalTheatre of the Oppressed
What is Forum Theatre?
Forum theatre is a style in which a problem that is faced by an individual, one likely to be shared by many in the community, is performed in front of spect-actors. The story is performed again, but this time, any spect-actor (Boal's term for one who is both spectator and actor) may yell out 'stop!' at any time during the story, and attempt to solve the problem presented on-stage.
The story is changed, repeated, and retried until a solution is reached that all are happy with. Solutions must be possible, without any 'magic' cures.
Performance therefore becomes a model for future action. It is preparation and planning for overcoming a shared problem. The stage is a safe space to practice and make mistakes. It is a place to share solutions, and try new options.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • My Umbrella and I

    Umbrella

    I bet each one of you has an umbrella story (or several) to tell. My first memory of an umbrella is probably from the time I was five-or younger-huddling under ... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Vidyasury
    DIARIES
  • Downward Causation

    Downward Causation

    I've argued for the idea that social phenomena are generated by the actions, thoughts, and mental frameworks of myriad actors (link). This expresses the idea... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Dlittle30
    SOCIETY
  • Ikk Panjab Rajouri Garden Food and Restaurant Review #FoodReview

    Ikk Panjab is a synonym of the blissful dining experience. Nothing falls short of expectation here. A place to rediscover lost recipes. There are many factors t... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Jaideep Khanduja
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • A Food-Lover’s Guide to Greece

    Food-Lover’s Guide Greece

    Ah, Greek food! Just the thought of a warm filo pastry with a mizithra cheese stuffing and a cup of dark Greek coffee brings back near-perfectly preserved... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Niviya Vas
    LIFESTYLE
  • 2018 Monsoon Must Haves

    The monsoons have arrived and along with its relief, have come a few of monsoon’s undesired experiences. We tend to not put on our best clothes during the... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Meet Rv
  • SAAM Arcade: Game Spaces

    What does "Game Spaces" mean to me? When we began discussing our plans for this year's Independent Developer Showcase, we knew that we wanted to focus on... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Americanart
    ART & DESIGN, CULTURE
  • “There Was No Significant Association Between Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular...

    Does eating saturated fat increase the risk of heart disease? Or is something else the culprit? And which risk markers should we look at when investigating whic... Read more

    The 17 July 2018 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE