Theatre of the Oppressed (TO)
Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) is a platform using theatre as a tool for exploration, liberation and empowerment and uses many techniques to include: Image Theatre, Forum Theatre, Rainbow of Desires and Legislative Theatre. Created by the Brazilian theatre practitioner, theorist and activist Augusto Boal in the 1960’s and is influenced by the work of the education theorist Paulo Friere.
Forum Theatre is a popular and fun way to explore issues in a community and social setting. In Forum Theatre a piece of theatre is presented to an audience. The piece of theatre tells someone’s story, or reflects experiences of the group, in which a person experiences difficulties or obstacles which stop them from getting a desired outcome. The theatre piece is created with an aim to evoke empathy from the audience. The piece is repeated, and the audience (or the Spect-actors as Boal called them) is invited to shout stop at any point that they have an idea as to how the person can challenge or overcome the obstacles for a better outcome. This process is facilitated and creates the opportunity for dialogue, reflection and action.
Image Theatre involves creating sculptures out of people to create a still image, a freeze frame. It requires no acting, and is a flexible tool to explore and discuss feelings and perceptions.
Boals T.O Tree
Fun & Games
Various drama and non-drama games and exercises are devoted to integrating groups, exploring the senses, expression, building confidence, fun and laughter.
"Thank you for a fun and safe place to share my story"
Participant aged 17
"We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know."