Workshop «The Theater of Oppressed: guidance on conflict resolution and discussion of problems»

February 26th, 1.30 pm

Research by Lena Agarelyshava (Belarus).

Forum-theater is a technique of working with crisis groups, a way to discuss problems and resolve conflicts with the use of therapeutic and theater practices, bright combination of sociality and creativity.

The theoretical basis of the theater was brought by brazilian director Augusto Boal. His idea was to transform the audience into active participants with the help of theatrical experience. Boal thought that traditional theater is rather despotic because viewers are not able to speak. In the theater of oppressed viewer decides what kind of story should be told, the tone of this play, the ideas that are necessary to express. Action in forum theater often involves critical social issues.
Each setting has the actors and the audience. The first are people who faced certain problems in real life and want to tell the world about them. The play or scene are shown twice. In the first time actors in theatrical form talk about crisis situations. After that, the theater comes to an end, and the forum begins.

A special person comes to the stage, called “joker” (master). Facilitator provokes actors and audience to discussion, speaks about the plot and asks if anyone here have passed through simillar situation an how, on their oppinion, to find a way of solving the problem. After production begins again, but now any viewer can say “stop” at any moment and come to stage to replace the hero and start to create. The play can be played endlessly, variants of story are always different. In fact, it is a global brainstorm on how to develop effective solutions in any case of life. Situation that are discussed are not far-fetched, they are taken from real life and real people. Therefore, both actor and spectator, who passes through it, already collect some practical experience that can be used in life. The aim of theater is not to solve the problem, but to show it in new aspects, to see personal experience and relationship with the situation.

The workshop is made by Lena Agarelyshava, student of EHU gender magistracy, activist of cultural project DOTYK, coach of Forum Theater (working with crisis groups, the organization of the forum-productions). In the first half she will speak about features of this method and work with crisis groups, and the other will hold exercises in the theater of the oppressed.

Performances often affect critical social issues. The play or scene is shown twice, and during second performance any member from the audience can shout “Stop!” and took actors place and show how they would act in that situation. The aim of the theater is not to solve the problem but to show it in new aspects, to see personal experience and relationship with situation.

The workshop is made by Lena Agarelyshava, student of EHU gender magistracy, activist of cultural project DOTYK, coach of Forum Theater (working with crisis groups, the organization of the forum-productions). In the first half she will speak about features of this method and work with crisis groups, and the other will hold exercises in the theater of the oppressed.

  • Cultural and educational institution "Cinemaclub "Dotyk"’
  • Developed by null_studio