This forum theatre event is a participatory space for social change, where you do not passively watch
the events on stage, but actively work to change what you see. You become a “spect-actor”! After
watching a short play about Magda, who faces a family and a system stacked against her, the audience
brainstorms strategies on how they might alter the story for a different outcome. What would have to
change? What would you do differently? The story is then replayed. As “spect-actors”, YOU are invited
to stop the action and take the stage yourself to try out your ideas! Actors and audience then discuss
the proposed changes and collectively build new ones.
This event raises questions and sparks dialogue about the pitfalls of registered partnership, the effects of structural homophobia, and how the system fails LGBTQ+ families. In so doing we push policymakers to pass the same-sex marriage legislation with greater urgency.
* We urge those who attended the workshop, Theatre of the Oppressed for Social Workers, to attend this event to see how Forum Theatre works a full scale. *
Come show your solidarity and BE THE CHANGE!
WHAT IS FORUM THEATRE?
Forum theatre is the most widely used technique in Theatre of the Oppressed. It is a form of problem- solving drama in which an unresolved story of oppression or injustice is presented. The story is then replayed, and the audience is invited to stop the action, replace a character they feel is oppressed, struggling, or lacking power, and to improvise alternative solutions. This structure is used to raise questions and explore strategies for social problems as a rehearsal for reality.
This on-your-feet workshop will introduce LGBTQ+ community leaders, social workers, youth workers,
social and cultural activists to the basic methods of Theatre of the Oppressed – a form of theatre
activism and civic empowerment. The workshop theme is LGBTQ+ discrimination in its broadest sense.
Through theatre games and exercises, Image Theatre, and “spect-acting” a short scene, participants will
explore ways to address social injustices and try out real strategies for combatting them collectively. The
workshop ends with a scene of workplace discrimination against a trans woman, in which you can take
the stage and try out your own strategies for overcoming injustice, in a safe and welcoming space.
• explore theatre activist methods to address LGBTQ injustices and try out real strategies for combatting them collectively through ‘spect-activism’
• learn the main elements of Theatre of the Oppressed methodology
• enhance their capacity to explore, in a nonviolent way, conflict and power
• have a chance to transfer the ideas into their own contexts
WHAT IS THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED?
Developed by Brazilian theatre director and political activist Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed is a form of social justice theatre that draws from personal stories and uses an arsenal of theatrical techniques to explore and challenge the oppressions people face, and to empower participants to try out solutions that they can take into real life. Theatre of the Oppressed has been successfully used with oppressed and underserved communities worldwide for over 40 years for democratic action, social engagement, community building, therapy, political activism, and conflict resolution. Theatre of the Oppressed methods can be used in any social work where disadvantaged groups experience some kind of oppression by working on issues of concern to the group.