Pre-Conference Registration is full!

Forum Theatre: Examining Oppressive Systems, Exploring Concrete Options – $200/person

This workshop is designed to be useful to both people with no experience with Theatre of the Oppressed AND experienced practitioners.

Tuesday, June 11th, 10am-6pm MDT*
Wednesday, June 12th, 10am-6pm MDT*
Thursday, June 13th, 10am-6pm MDT* followed by a Forum Theatre event that will open up the conference
*with food breaks of course!

Colorado State University – Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo)
Occhiato University Center
2200 Bonforte Blvd
Pueblo, CO 81011
United States

Far too many times we see Forum Theatre that individualizes problems that actually arise instead from the very structures of our societies. That individualization leads to at least two problems. First, it suggests that oppressions arise from the free will or personal perspectives of evildoers. But of course oppression does not work that way; a white man during apartheid, for example, benefited from racism regardless of whether or not that person held consciously racist personal opinions. Second, to individualize problems implies that it is the responsibility of single individuals to fight back against oppressions that are larger in scope than the individuals themselves. For example, to stress what a specific woman can do at the very moment she is under the threat of being beaten up by her husband reinforces the dangerous idea that she is personally responsible for that violence–or for stopping it herself. This workshop–through games, exercises, and techniques–will focus on finding ways to portray oppressive systems rather than just staging people with so-called “bad” behavior. During the mornings, we will experiment with existing scenes from a range of works (specific films, plays of Epic theatre, etc.) as potential models, recreating their structures with content of our own to explore how we can avoid good-vs-evil and other forms of moral dualism in the creation of Forum Theatre scenes. During the afternoon, participants will gain experience with additional TO techniques, create original Forum Theatre scenes, and discuss the role of the joker (facilitator) figure in TO.

Please note: The scenes created by the participants will be shared at the opening of the 2019 PTO conference on Thursday night, June 13th.

REGISTER for the Pre-Conference Now!*

Image description: A photo Julian Boal on a stage with a microphone as he facilitates a theatre of the oppressed session in 2018.  Many participants are visible surrounding him in a theatre-style seating surrounding the stage.

JULIAN BOAL Julian Boal is a teacher, researcher, and internationally-active practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed. He has facilitated workshops in more than 25 countries and has collaborated on several international festivals of Theatre of the Oppressed: in India with Jana Sanskriti, in Spain with Pa’tothom, in Portugal with Óprima, in Croatia with the Istrian National Theater, in France with GTO-Paris, and in Brazil with CTO-Rio. In Paris, he was a founding member of the Ambaata collective, which worked alongside migrant workers, and he also worked with GTO-Paris and Féminisme Enjeux. He participated in the design and realization of the exhibition on Augusto Boal at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil in 2015 and curated part of the Utopia International festival, held in Maricá, Brazil, in 2016. He collaborated with Sergio de Carvalho as assistant playwright for two recent plays of Companhia do Latão (São Paulo): Those Who Stay (2015) and The Bread and The Stone (2016). He holds a Master’s degree in History from the Sorbonne (Paris IV) and a Ph.D. from the School of Social Work at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Boal is the author of Images of a Popular Theatre (Hucitec, 2000) and co-editor of the DVD & essay booklet Theatre of the Oppressed in Actions (with Kelly Howe and Scot McElvany, Routledge, 2015) and an anthology to be published in January 2019: The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed (with Kelly Howe and José Soeiro). He is co-founder (with Geo Britto) and pedagogical coordinator of Escola de Teatro Popular (ETP; The School of Popular Theatre, in Rio de Janeiro), a school run by social movements for social movements, where political unity is practiced at the grassroots level through the practice of theatre. He is also a member of the Instituto Augusto Boal in Rio.