theatre of the oppressed
THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED (T.O.)
WHAT IS IT?
T.O. is about dialogue, discovery and community. It’s about tapping into our collective imaginations to brainstorm creative yet realistic solutions to the problems we face in our personal lives and communities. This is not theatre in any traditional sense. It’s also not therapy though it can be therapeutic. It’s a rehearsal for life, a safe space where we can invite critical thinking, brainstorm healthier strategies, discuss systemic privilege and oppression and basically investigate why we do what we do in order to begin to envision alternatives.
Perhaps most importantly, Theatre of the Oppressed is a fun, participatory theatre that anyone can do with no prior experience in the arts. It was developed by Brazilian visionary Augusto Boal in the 1960s and is now used all over the world for social and political activism, personal empowerment and conflict resolution. In the workshop we build trust through various games and exercises, then draw stories from participants’ lives, create scenes or scenarios, then replay them and invite participants to jump into a role and change the script— in hopes of creating more just, desirable outcomes that we can learn from and try out in our lives “offstage”.
Please contact me if you’re interested in hiring me to facilitate a workshop for your organization, conference, school or any other group of 12-35 people. This methodology is adaptable and as a facilitator I’m open to your ideas. I’ve studied Theatre of the Oppressed for many years (with Marc Weinblatt of the Mandala Center among others), used it in my curriculum as an ESL teacher in Damascus, Syria and Alameda County and have facilitated workshops in my home state of California.