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 :

  • Glamorous Wedding with Oriental Touches | Amina & Omar

    Glamorous Wedding with Oriental Touches Amina Omar

    Amina and Omars’ wedding could not have been any more gorgeous! Held in an idyllic venue in Greece, Island Art Taste, this wedding was chic, elegant and... Read more

    10 hours, 8 minutes ago by   Eleni Balkouli
  • Spring Skiing in Megeve!

    Spring Skiing Megeve!

    I recently had the excellent fortune to visit a charismatic, cozy, alpine bolt-hole named Les Fermes de Marie, nestled within the charming cobblestoned town of... Read more

    10 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Fitnessontoast
  • 10 Best YouTube Video Intro Maker

    Best YouTube Video Intro Maker

    For the Youtube videos, the role of youtube intros is vital. And if you are also looking for some of the best youtube video intro maker tools, then read this... Read more

    11 hours, 9 minutes ago by   Jyoti92
  • Asian Slaw

    Asian Slaw

    This recipe I am sharing today is one that was a popular one with the ladies when I worked at the Manor. That is not much of a surprise as it is filled with an... Read more

    12 hours, 31 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
  • 10 Random Things

    Random Things

    Sometimes a week in pictures is just enough to show the randomness in a person’s life so here are… …10 random things about our week. 1. Read more

    14 hours, 31 minutes ago by   Maryjo
  • How to Count the Alcohol and Wine for Your Wedding Party

    Count Alcohol Wine Your Wedding Party

    Although seems easy figuring out the alcohol you need for your guests is confusing. You have so many things to prepare for your destination wedding and to... Read more

    15 hours, 48 minutes ago by   Olympia Giannopoulou
  • Five Ways To Love Yourself

    Five Ways Love Yourself

    Blouse - Elizabeth James // Similar Pants - Bespoke // Another Option Shoes - Steve Madden // Same Bag - Art for Fashion // Another Option Shawl - Inherited... Read more

    16 hours, 31 minutes ago by   Tanvi Rastogi