this was one of my favorite readings and also one of my favorite classes.
I interpret “Theatre of the oppressed” as a method of acting that helps exploited groups reverse their situation with role playing techniques to “take the power back”. The method offers DIY maneuvers that participants can apply to everyday life circumstances. The audience writes the work and actors perform it simultaneously. Then the action is interrupted and an audience member assumes the role of the subject. Steven Metz also describes it as way of sending a message to a larger audience through politicized theatre. It represents the feasibility of change, and the means by which all possible paths can be examined. The idea is that when people go back to their ordinary lives outside of the theatre, they can pull from the experiences they acted out on in the theatre. So, the actors are carrying out in fiction what they may do in reality to curtail cultural and ideological domination.
It’s a cool idea. Overall, I think that making thought visible and doing it physically is very appealing. Maybe that’s why I enjoy dance or even sports so much?
I feel like without even knowing it I’ve used this method in my own life to point out what someone was doing wrong to me and it definitely helped get the point across. When you enact the method, it makes you feel more empowered than it would if you stayed silent and did nothing even if enacting it was uncomfortable or didn’t go anywhere
One of the things I like about this method is that I think it is very relatable because of its visual, physical, and participatory element. I think that the main element that demolishes the wall between spectators and actors is definitely the participation element. I love that this method helps people solve problems by giving them a tool that helps them express themselves through physical change. I think that if you can physically do something, you can do it again. So that’s a powerful tool!
Reading the article was helpful, especially when reading about how the town in South America responded to the acting method. The success of the method was conveyed in the situation where the town purposed different solution to the woman whose husband was cheating on her. I can see how that would empower someone on both the stage and the back in her real life.
I think it would be really interesting if a business hired the people form the Theatre of the Oppressed to come in and give a lesson once a month. This would be a very useful teaching instrument to a business, which is an environment with a whole sleuth of power complexes. This is what I’ll do if I ever own my own company.