Augusto Boal, Brazilian theatre director and social activist, is the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO)– a body of aesthetic techniques based in liberatory philosophy and dedicated to the notions of dialogue, cooperative education, and the transformative potential of theatre. Influenced by Paolo Friere’s philosophy of education (Pedagogy of the Oppressed 1970), Boal’s vision is embodied in dramatic techniques that activate passive spectators to become spect-actors; engaged participants rehearsing strategies for personal and social change. Although founded in theatrical exploration, the techniques are not limited to the stage; educators, political activists, therapists, and social workers devoted to critical thought and action have adapted the work to address issues ranging from racism to loneliness.
Tonight’s piece is the culmination of six weeks of intense workshops and rehearsals with 10 USC faculty, students, alumni, and community activists on the theme of oppressive dominant fictions and their effects on the African-American community.
Tales of marginalization, criminalization, and micro-aggressions converge in this 20 minute piece showing scenes of dehumanization. Afterwards, audience members will be invited to replace the protagonists in order to find strategies that humanize, solidarity that engages us in collective action toward concrete social change.
Reader comments below are invited to continue the post-forum discussion. Were the scenes familiar? Do they reflect real problems in the world? Were any of the interventions useful? Why or why not? Feel free to include your own experiences and stories below.
Free admission. Reservations recommended. (RSVP Here)