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Subsections

TOOLS

GAMEXERCISES

The game-exercises are tools of theatre preparation to release our rigidities, corporeal and perceptive. Exercise is a reflection over one own. A monologue. An introversion. Games, on the other hand, are linked to body expression; are tools to send and receive message. Games are dialogue, they need an interlocutor. They're extraversion. According to Boal the game-exercises are not a merrely preparation for techniques but contain in themselves the same T.O. principles that is they are tools for analysing and transforming oppression.

Halle (Est Germany), June 2002. The game called Colombian Hypnosis, during the workshop leaded by Lisa Kolb (Austria) inside of an International Conference about Violence Prevention Among Youth.


FORUM-THEATRE

It's one of the most famous and used T.O. technique. It expects the presentation of a problematic scene as a stimulus for the "spect-actor" intervention. The audience try to solve the situation, or however to find some possible alternative, by replacing the Protagonist. This technique was created in Peru, by case, when a woman in the audience didn't see realised her desires by the actors, about a family scene. Usually the scene shows a negative situation, with an oppression or conflict or problem not solved. The scene is showed once again and the second time the audience is asked to intervene. The Forum leader, called Joker, direct the game without judging the interventions but asking the audience about the possibility of realising the proposal, questioning them.

In South America the Forum was plaid as simulation, general rehearsal before the the planned action (strike, demonstration...); in Europe has become a real and true show, the style can also be not realistic (symbolic, surreal...), often the audience is not homogeneous as in South America.


IMAGE-THEATRE

This technique is based on images built up with the persons' bodies; these images tell how a person and a group think visually the theme; the images can also be dynamised with the audience intervention or autonomously to explore the inner tensions, the conflicts, desires and possible changes. Because image is likely more connected with the unconscious, the non-verbal, the left cerebral hemisphere, it allows a knowledge that pass through the control made by the conscious mind, overcomes defences and repressions, helps to free our imaginary.

Halle (Est Germany), June 2002. The reading of an image built up about the issue - How do youth live in Halle - during the workshop leaded by Roberto Mazzini, inside of an International Conference about Violence Prevention Among Youth.


COP-IN-THE-HEAD TECHNIQUES

These around 20 techniques continuously enriched and developed are the last but one Boal's creative production. They were developed in a year long workshop held in Paris in 1980 together with the animators from the "Centre du Theatre de l'Opprime'" to answer to a new question: how T.O. can face the inner oppression those where <the problem is in the person more then in the situation>, without falling in an individual psychotherapy but keeping the T.O. principles to be a collective research of liberation?
Boal, as he tells self-ironically in the workshops, arrives in Europe in 1979, being used to face oppressions well visible and concrete, based on physical violence, strength, embezzlement. He proposes his workshops in France and then all over and the western participants bring in them oppressions unknown to him: loneliness, powerlessness, confusion, inner malaise... Early Boal refuses to deal with these questions and asks <but where are the policemen? Where are the oppressors?> and finally he gives up to reality and sentences <also here in Europe there are oppressions, but they are more hidden, more subtle; also here people live badly, until to kill themselves for it; we must discover the oppressors; they are in the head>. From here the first techniques like "The cops and their anti-bodies", "The rainbow of desires", "The analytic image" etc. that explore the inwardness of person to make him to emerge and put on the stage, but visible for all, the inner oppressors; oppressors who were in the past, real and alive people that the Protagonist met and now they are hidden in his mind like images of prohibition, terror, seduction, powerlessness...
These techniques aim to bring out these Cops so that the Protagonist could recognise and face them by means of theatre, but also because the group could train and work to fight against these inner obstacles.
All techniques are based on an initial story from the Protagonist, followed by the construction of images proposed by him and/or the audience and further improvisations in a kaleidoscope of relations and levels (real and symbolic, fantastic and grotesque...) that allow an exploration rich of suggestions.
Here the connection between T.O. and psychodrama appears more strong as sentenced by Daniel Feldhendler in his German book unfortunately not translated yet. There are however some important differences among psychodrama and Cops-techniques that are analysed in a long term course held by Giolli in Rome, started in October 2004.

Tirrenia (Pisa) 2000, a moment of improvisation during a 1st year course of Basic Education in T.O. workshop.


THE INVISIBLE THEATRE

It's an action not declared as theatre that occures in public space. The not aware spectators suppose it's a real life event and involve in the action, facilitated by actors. Furthermore the actors try to move the discussion to an issue they have focused, adding informations, expressing the opposite opinions, indicating possible alternative to oppression. For Boal the action mjust not be revealed, never, in order do not vanish the impact. Unfortunately the Invisible is nowadays confused with Candid Camera or like, that are used to show how people is stupid. The technique is criticised by people who think it's manipulative. It's an old tool existing since longtime in a simpler form; it was massively used during the Weimer Republic in Germany, before the Nazi won, by groups, so-callded, agit-prop.
Boal used and organised it theoretically in Argentina during 1971 when, as exiled, he was forced to do political theatre in secret.


THE NEWSPAPER-THEATRE

It's a set of 12 techniques collected by Boal in the '60, that use theatre to problematize and criticize daily news on newspapers. Recently Giolli is exploring this tool in a long term course in Brescia, with a political group, to see how is possible to update and use that.

Translation in process.

Tirrenia (Pisa) 2000, a moment of improvisation during a 1st year course of Basic Education in T.O. workshop.


THE LEGISLATIVE-THEATRE

The Legislative-Theatre is the last Boal's systematisation; it's matter of a structure that puts the Boal's method in a pathway of collective research and growing concerning the relationship between population and Institutions. Boal calls it a tool to realise a "transitive democracy", intermediate phase between the "direct" (as in the ancient Greece, nowadays impossible in a complex society) and "delegate democracy". Democracy, because gives back to people a part of the power delegated to the politicians after the elections for a long period without any chance to influence them. So the objective is to connect popular needs and desires, or better those coming from civil society organised in groups, with the Power, in a circular relation of influence, by the mediation of theatre conscientisators.

Tirrenia (Pisa) 2000, a moment of improvisation during a 1st year course of Basic Education in T.O. workshop.


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