Theatre of the Oppressed

This project uses the methodology of the Theater and the oppressed. The Theater of the Oppressed (TO) was developed in the seventies by Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal, and has been one of the main tools of participatory communication and popular education movements in Latin America. Unlike many social aspects of the theater, the Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a political theater. It is a collaborative encounter for emancipation. Based on the epistemology of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, TO is used to analyze abuses of power perpetrated and perpetuated systemically in our daily microstructures. TO uses theater games to de-mechanize our perceptions, making us aware of our cultural filters by making explicit and re-enacting our own conflicts and experiences. The bringing to life on stage of individual issues and subsequent extrapolation to the experiences of the group, TO allows to search and create alternatives to conflicts that often prove difficult to resolve from an individual position.

Forum Theater

Forum Theater is the basic tool within Theatre of the Oppressed. Based on proposals by B. Brecht, Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal, Forum Theatre seeks to work towards the staging of conflicts, so that the audience can propose alternatives and try them out on stage. The methodology puts the audience and the actors and actresses on the same level to transform the audience into spect-actors, generating debate and joint problematization. Through Forum Theatre we can rehearse real life situations and conflicts, to prepare us to understand, reflect and confront this conflicts in real life. It turns thought into action.

The aim of Forum Theatre is to reflect, discuss and generate awareness among participants in order to find alternatives to conflict. In particular, the piece aims to create a dialogue that enables people to raise awareness about inequalities and social structures to find ways to face them in real life.

The structure of Forum Theater is based on presenting a short play which is stopped at the moment of maximum conflict. After the facilitator stops the play, he or she invites viewers to open the debate and to go on stage to replace the protagonists in order to change the situation.

The facilitator provides data to feed the debate, engage the audience and asks questions to generate reflection about our behaviors in order to change our attitudes.

Thus the participants in the audience through their performances on stage with the other actors, can intervene in the play and offer their thoughts, desires, strategies and solutions. The scene is reinterpreted as often as the different interventions proposed by the audience. Each alternative proposed is discussed and analyzed to explore the feasibility of the proposed solution.