Augusto Boal, Founder of Theatre of the Oppressed
Embodying Resistance Through Narrative-Based Theatre and Devised Community-engaged Performance
Modes of Inquiry
Archival research, script development, improvisation, and devising a piece
Ideological/ Methodological Approach
Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal
Theatre for Community, Conflict, and Dialogue, Michael Rohd
Community Engagement Theater methods/practices, Cornerstone Theatre Company
Feeding my aesthetic and artistic efforts, my research is supported by the practice of PaR (Performance as Research). My areas of expertise are in Solo Performance, Devised Theatre, Theatre for Social Change, and Performance as Activism.
Applied Theatre or Community-Engaged Theatre Makers employ a wide range of theatre practices grounded in the attention to provoke or shape social change. As a practitioner, I start many of my classes and performative projects with the following questions: what is the story, how can I best tell the story to the audience?how can this work serve the community from within? My artistic praxis is divided into 4 parts: 1) concept, 2) creation, 3) performance, and 4) documentation.
"Applied Theatre is an umbrella term for the use of theatrical practices and creativity that take participants and audience members further than mainstream theatre, that is often in response to conventional people with real life stories" (Prentki). I adapted a skill set and practice that presents an open forum for both theatrical and non-theatrical individuals to explore their own artistic curiosities using Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, and Improvisational techniques. By providing resources and exercises for utilizing one’s own distinctive histories and experiences, I believe we can foster a community of artists built on confidence and artistic integrity.
Through my research, I have devised ensemble and solo-based works exploring the adverse effects of violence/injustices in social media on the personal psyche and how narrative-based storytelling is used as a vessel for social resilience and redemption. These projects are called ‘Drama to Drama: From the Headlines to the Stage’. Specific topics explored, but not limited to, are Racial Injustice, Gender Equality, Domestic Violence Awareness, and Diversity/ Inclusion. Most of my projects are ‘works in progress’ meaning that all the variables are consistently shifting throughout the entirety of the project. All goals obtained supplement in the production, not the final product. The completed creation, I firmly believe, is secondary to the journey taken in collaboration and development. All theatre is meant to be personal and political.
Augusto Boal says “those who try to separate theatre from politics try to lead us into error.” The basis of my research allows individuals or a specific community organization/entity to create art that represents a state of change for revelation/resistance. Theatre and the performing arts teach society about itself and points out the attitudes and mindsets of current society. It can be a tool used to educate people about their current conditions.
I utilize the practices and criterion set forth by governing tenure and promotion guidelines of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). ATHE serves as a strong advocate for maintaining that system through the establishing and sustaining of tenure-track and tenured positions for faculty in the field of theatre and performance studies.