Friday, April 10, 2009

An Evening With Augusto Boal/ R.I.P. Augusto Boal

An Evening with Augusto Boal

in a Performance/Demonstration of Forum Theater (a Theater of the
Oppressed technique) with assistance of members of his Intensive Master Workshop at the Brecht Forum

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm

At the Assembly Hall of The Riverside Church
91 Claremont Avenue at West 120 Street (one block west of Broadway)
New York City

(Subway: IRT Broadway/Seventh Avenue local #1 to 116 Street; walk north on Broadway to 120 Street, turn left, walk one block to Claremont. Bus: M-4, M-5 or M-104 to 120 Street or 122 Street.)

Forum Theater, one of the techniques in the Theater of the Oppressed repertory, is an innovative approach to public forums, and is rooted in the Brazilian popular education and culture movements of the 1950s and 1960s. It is designed for use in schools, community centers, trade unions, and political, solidarity and grassroots organizations. It is especially useful as an organizing tool in social justice movements. Workshop participants (the actors) are asked to tell a story, taken from daily life, containing a political or social problem of difficult solution. A skit presenting that problem is improvised and presented. The original solution proposed by the protagonist must contain at least one social or political error which leaves the problem unresolved. When the skit is over, the audience discusses the proposed solution, and then the scene is performed once more. But now, audience members are urged to intervene by stopping the action, coming on stage to replace actors, and enacting their own ideas. Thus, instead of remaining passive, the audience becomes active "spect-actors" who now create alternative solutions and control the dramatic action. The aim of the forum is not to find an ideal solution, but to invent new ways of confronting oppression. In Brazil and other parts of Latin America, as well as in India and Africa, Forum Theater has been used with peasant and worker "audiences" as training in labor and community organizing and participatory democracy.

Contribution--sliding scale: $10/$15/$25
(free for Brecht Forum subscribers and Riverside Church congregants)
Reserve online at

Theatre of the Oppressed Laboratory has announced that Augusto Boal died May 1st of "complications arising from a long-term health condition." They write, "TOPLAB has had a close relationship with Augusto for twenty years; He was our inspiration, teacher and comrade.The members of TOPLAB consider it a privilege to have known and worked with him. We will miss him immensely."

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