Kinds of Theatre

Theatre of the OppressedTheatre of the oppressed is theatre in this most archaic application of the word. In this usage, all human beings are actors and spect-actors.

In theatre of the oppressed reality is shown not only as it is, but also, more importantly, as it could be. Which is what we live for to become what we have the potential to become. The vital element is entrusted to the creativity of the audience, the spect-actors come on stage to replace protagonist (the oppressed characters in the scene) and try to find viable solution for real problems.

Theatre of the oppressed offers a two way learning process. It believes there is much likelihood that the audience members know the answers as the performers do i.e. audience members are resources not the recipients.

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Theatre of the oppressed has many forms. These are as follows:Interactive Theatre / Forum Theatre

Interactive theatre is a technique of theatre, developed by Augusto Boal in which the participants are not merely spectators but a part of the drama. In the drama a social error is done and the main character makes a mistake towards the end a reach at a wrong decision (that is usually practiced in the community). Then the community is asked if the decision is correct. They are asked to come and perform how they could improve the situation. In short this form of theatre is a rehearsal for life.

Interactive theatre is an effective advocacy tool that engages the community in dialogue on social issues hindering the development process.

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Playback TheatrePlay back theatre is a form of theatre generally performed in a controlled homogenous group for healing their traumas. In this form of theatre besides regular actors community volunteers also perform. It is a non-scripted theatre where the stories are taken from the group. The actors turn it into a play. This shatters the trauma that is buried deep inside the victim. It also helps him/her to view the traumatic incident from outside as spectator helping him/her to understand the issue in a better position. In the end the conductor asks the person about his/her feeling. Then the homogenous group is divided into groups of 10 and in each group the conductor asks the group to express their feeling on the stories, help them get out of the trauma, and also help them in reaching at a decision that improves their lives. The homogenous group acts as a peer group and every member feel that in this trauma he/she is not alone. 3
Image TheatreImage theatre is the series of exercises and games designed to uncover essential truths about socities and cultures without resort to spoke language though this may be added in various dynamisations of the images.

The participants in Image Theatre make still images of their lives, feelings, experiences, oppressions. However the image never remain static. The frozen image is prelude or starting point of the action.

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Invisible TheatreInvisible theatre is public theatre which involves the public as participants in the action without their knowing it. In this form of theatre actors rehearse a sequence that involves normal life behaviours and then they perform it in public as a normal incident. In reaction to the incidents in the scene the public gets involved in argument usually with the help of some agent-provocateurs (actors) mingling with the public and expressing extreme and opposite reactions to the event of the scene.

It is a way to stimulate dialogue, getting people to question issues in public forum. It is similar to agitprop theatre but with visible difference that audience are free to take any space and has no feeling of being preached at.

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