From spectator to protagonist
A progressive course for practitioners, facilitators and those with a grounding in the fundamental techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed. This training is designed to enrich and enhance participants confidence, experience and abilities with Boal’s method of theatre and therapy – the Rainbow of Desire – and the opportunity to analyse, deconstruct and embody the central and enigmatic role of the Joker.
“We must all do theatre – to find out who we are, and to discover who we could become.”
– Augusto Boal
In the 1970s junta-era Brazil, Augusto Boal developed forum theatre to help spec-actors explore options in response to external oppressors – cops, landlords, the military, the dictatorship itself. When he fled in exile to Europe, he discovered that the oppressors had ceased to be solely external, and infact had left the barracks and moved into spectactors’ heads, negating the need for a physical oppressor. In response, he used the foundation of Image Theatre to develop a therapeutic theatre to address and explore these cops-in-the-head.
A progressive course for practitioners, facilitators and those with already a solid understanding of the fundamentals and application the arsenal of techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed. This training is designed to enrich and enhance participants confidence, experience and abilities with Boal’s method of theatre and therapy – the Rainbow of Desire – and the opportunity to analyse, deconstruct and embody the central and enigmatic role of the Joker.
“The joker has the most responsibility in coordinating the creators, because everyone has to be involved creating. As the joker you have the responsibility to coordinate all the creations and the creators. But you also have to take care not to impose your own view. You are not superior to anybody. You have your opinion, you have your intelligence, you can have all the qualities you have, but you never say I am like this or I have more knowledge of this; that is the basics of it. Why is it called the joker?… A joker, a real joker, is a person who can help the people write a play, help people do the blocking of the play, help the people with the music, with the text, with everything … the responsibility is to learn more and more and know more and more, so that you can teach in many ways. That is a bigger responsibility. But you have to teach in a democratic way, to respect the other ones.”
This week-long training will explore two fundamental aspects of Boal’s work:
Participants can expect to gain:
George is a practitioner of the Theatre of the Oppressed, writer, performance poet and natural farmer who has travelled extensively across Europe and Asia working with groups ranging from the homeless in London, subsistence farmers in India, victims of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, to recovering heroin addicts and street kids in Kuala Lumpur. As founder of the training collective Reboot The Roots he has a decade of experience as a facilitator and educator in fields ranging from TESOL and drama therapy to drug rehabilitation and conflict resolution. He qualified in his Certificate in Joker Training and Certificate in Rainbow of Desire whilst working with Cardboard Citizens in 2010.
Reboot the Roots is a charity that promotes social inclusion through the arts. It uses theatre, music and workshops to support people who are denied their rights to full, happy and active participation in society. This includes those recovering from addiction, people living with HIV/AIDS and individuals who have been in conflict with the law. They facilitate workshops with the socially excluded, train trainers from other organisations and NGOs in techniques of art for inclusion, and help other practitioners to achieve their goals through logistical support, consultation and funding. They believe that creative tools for social transformation can enable people to participate fully and equally in society.
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