Archive for September 26th, 2011

September 26, 2011

The Politics of the Theater of the Oppressed

by sarafusco

I just came across this workshop happening on Saturday, October 15th. ┬áThere’s a registration fee ($50-$75), but looks to be really interesting:

October 15th, 2011 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
The Politics of the Theater of the Oppressed
Facilitated by Marie-Claire Picher

This workshop is an outgrowth of a collaboration and some recent conversations that took place between Julian Boal, TOPLAB facilitator Marie-Claire Picher and other members of TOPLAB. When it first originated in Brazil in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Theater of the Oppressed (TO) was a political and theatrical project that sought to work with oppressed people and communities toward their own self emancipation and to change society and abolish the class structure that is the underpinning of capitalism. Today, a good amount of the radical political thrust and focus that motivated and informed TO as it was originally conceived and formulated is lost in much of its current practice. This workshop will attempt to return to the political, pedagogical and theatrical roots that are central to the theory and praxis of Theater of the Oppressed. With the surging popularity of “reality TV” and “interactive art” produced by corporate edict, the accelerated commodification of culture and its ongoing recuperation by capital, once-genuine participation in daily social life has too often become nothing more than a fashionable, radically-chic presentation (and consumption) of culture; in the case of TO, such presentation compromises the radical sensibility that is at its core and turns it into a poorly-disguised form of interactive manipulation.

Marie-Claire Picher is a co-founder (1989) of the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) and has worked and collaborated closely with Augusto Boal until his death in 2009. One of the most experienced TO practitioners in North America, she has presented thousands of hours of TO facilitation training in New York and throughout the United States, as well as in Chiapas, Tabasco, Mexico City, Guatemala and Cuba.