Theatre Tools for Organizations
PUENTE Theatre offers theatre tools that can educate, engage, and empower groups in schools, universities, communities, and in the workplace.
We offer workshops, presentations, and training of facilitators in Playback, Forum Theatre, and Image Theatre.
We can use existing scenarios or write something special for your needs.
Playback is an original form of theatrical improvisation where one audience member tells a story from their life and then sees that story enacted - on the spot - by the Puente actors. At the end of each Playback performance there is an opportunity for members of the audience to discuss the performance. We have found that people are very open to sharing an event in their lives and that these shared stories of their experience resonate with the whole audience. Stories of being an immigrant, a worker, a parent, victim or even a bully, have great meaning to people of all ages.
Forum Theatre is an interactive approach that involves the audience in developing real-time strategies for enacting social and personal change. In this type of theatre, actors create, rehearse and present scenes that show moments of conflict such as work issues, family problems, racism, bullying, etc. and then invite the audience to intervene and enact solutions to the problems presented. Many different solutions are enacted in the course of a single forum, and the result is a pooling of knowledge, tactics, and experience, which leads to a very useful discussion and examination of different situations from a variety of angles and perspectives. The effectiveness and consequences of each intervention are discussed with the audience making Forum Theatre a fun and democratic way for a community or group to creatively solve problems and learn about itself.
In Forum Theatre, reality is shown not only as it is, but more importantly, as it could be. This vital element is entrusted to the creativity of the audience as the spectators come on stage, substituting themselves for the actors, thus becoming “spect-actors.” In this way the audience is recognized as a resource as opposed to passive recipients, and with as much likelihood of providing the answers as the performers themselves.
The aim of Forum Theatre is to stimulate dialogue in the form of action, not just words, to show alternatives, and to enable people ‘to become the protagonists of their own lives'.
The desired result of this creative theatrical process is positive change. Forum Theatre is a powerful tool that must be used responsibly. To ensure a safe, appropriate environment, a Forum Theatre facilitator must be a trained professional. Please contact us for information about Forum Theatre facilitator training workshops.
Image theatre is a series of exercises and games designed to uncover essential truths about societies and cultures without resorting to spoken language even though this may be added in the various 'dynamisations' of the images. The participants in Image Theatre make still images of their lives, feelings, experiences, and/or oppressions. The group then suggests titles or themes as individuals sculpt three-dimensional images under these titles, using their own and the bodies of others as clay. The image work never remains static and the frozen image is simply the starting point for the action revealed in the ‘dynamisation’ or the process of bringing to life the images, and the discovery of their intrinsic direction or intention.
Augusto Boal claims this form of theatre to be one of the most stimulating because of its ease of enactment and its remarkable capacity of portraying thought in a concrete form due to the absence of language idiom.
Theatre of the Oppressed
The Theatre of the Oppressed describes a range of theatrical forms that the Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal (1931 - 2009) first elaborated in the 1960s, initially in Brazil and later in Europe. Boal was influenced by the work of the educator and theorist Paulo Freire. Boal's techniques use theatre as means of knowledge and transformation of reality in the social and relational field. In the Theatre of the Oppressed, the audience becomes active, such that as "spect-actors" they explore, show, analyze and transform the reality in which they are living, in order to find viable solutions to real problems. In this way, the Theatre of the Oppressed is never didactic and instead involves a process of learning together.
The Theatre of the Oppressed is used by groups of people to dismantle dynamics of oppression in our world. Unlike other dramatic forms that divide spectator from actor, everyone in the Theatre of the Oppressed is a “spect-actor” in workshops that serve as rehearsals for the performance of everyday life.