Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Opportunity to See Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Augusto Boal in Action

Worth checking out:

The Brecht Forum, The Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed at The Riverside Church, The Education Ministry of The Riverside Church, The Social Justice Ministry of The Riverside Church, and The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) present:

A Public Performance/Demonstration of Rainbow of Desire, a Theater of the Oppressed technique facilitated by Augusto Boal Tuesday, May 13, 2008 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Assembly Hall of the Riverside Church 91 Claremont Avenue *New York City*

See a performance/demonstration of the Rainbow of Desire, one of the techniques of the Theater of the Oppressed. The Theater of the Oppressed, established in the early 1970s by Brazilian director and Workers' Party (PT) activist Augusto Boal, is a form of popular theater, of, by, and for people engaged in the struggle for liberation. More specifically, it is a rehearsal theater designed for people who want to learn ways of fighting back against oppression intheir daily lives.

In the Theater of the Oppressed, oppression isdefined, in part, as a power dynamic based on monologue rather thandialogue; a relation of domination and command that prohibits theoppressed from being who they are and from exercising their basic human rights. Accordingly, the Theater of the Oppressed is a participatory theater and form of popular education that fosters democratic and cooperative forms of interaction among participants. Theater is emphasized not as a spectacle but rather as a language designed to: 1)analyze and discuss problems of oppression and power; and 2) exploregroup solutions to these problems. This language is accessible to all.

Rainbow of Desire is one of the techniques of the Theater of the Oppressed and is similar to a related technique called Cop-in-the-Head. Where Cop uses games and exercises to recognize and confront internalized forms of oppression, Rainbow of Desire deals with conflicting needs, desires and wants within individuals and explores power relations and collective solutions to concrete problems. This is a method and set of techniques that is especially useful for teachers and educators who work with disadvantaged populations, social workers, psychologists and mental health professionals, and community activists and organizers who are involved with marginalized constituencies and constituencies which have traditionally been the victims of bias and discrimination.

Augusto Boal will demonstrate these techniques, assisted by both members of the audience (participation is optional but encouraged!) and by members of a three-day workshop in Rainbow of Desire and Forum Theater techniques being held at the Brecht Forum.

Augusto Boal is a political activist and major innovator of post-Brechtian theater. He served as Artistic Director of the ArenaTheater in Sao Paulo from 1956 to 1971. In the 1970s, he came underattack by the Brazilian government, resulting in his imprisonment,torture and subsequent exile. Boal has lectured, conducted workshops,and mounted productions throughout North and South America, Europe, India and Africa, and has written a number of books, including Theater of the Oppressed; Games for Actors and Non Actors; and The Rainbow of Desire. An
activist in the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT), he presentlyresides in Rio de Janeiro. In 1992, he was elected to the City Councilof Rio, a post he held for four years. Once installed in office, headapted his theater techniques for use in city politics, with somehilarious--and sometimes rancorous--results. Members of the Center forthe Theater of the Oppressed became Boal's City Council staff, andcreated seventeen companies of players practicing "Legislative Theater"throughout the city. Currently, Boal continues to work with the Centerfor the Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro and is researchingand formulating a theory of the aesthetics of the oppressed.

If you've been wondering what this work is all about now is the time to find out!

Admission: $10
Free for Brecht Forum subscribers and members of The Riverside Church

"We must emphasize: What Brecht does not want is that the spectatorscontinue to leave their brains with their hats upon entering thetheater, as do bourgeois spectators."--Augusto Boal

Travel directions:
Subway: IRT Broadway/Seventh Avenue #1 local to 116 Street
(ColumbiaUniversity). Walk north along Broadway (passing Barnard College on the left) to 120 Street (also called Reinhold Niebuhr Place). Turn left andwalk one block to Claremont Avenue. The church entrance at 91 Claremont isone half block north of
120 Street on the west side of the avenue.Bus: #4, #5 or #104 to Broadway and 120 Street.

RSVP Here: toplab@toplab.org

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