Memorial Tribute to Augusto Boal

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Date/Time: 25/05/2009 12:00 am

7:00 pm
Co-sponsors: The Brecht Forum,The Education Ministry of The Riverside Church,Mission and Social Justice Commission of The Riverside Church,Theatre of the Oppressed at The Riverside Church, and The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB)
A Memorial Tribute to Augusto Boal & an Evening of Theater of the Oppressed with Julian Boal
in a Performance/Demonstration of Forum Theater
With Assistance of Members of his Intensive Master Workshop at the Brecht Forum
This Performance/Demonstration will take place at the Assembly Hall of the Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Avenue at West 120 Street (one block west of Broadway), Manhattan.
A major memorial tribute and celebration of the life of Augusto Boal will take place at a future date to be announced. In the meantime, what better way to honor Augusto Boal than by carrying on the work to which he had dedicated his entire life? And who better than Julian Boal to carry on that work?
Forum theater 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.
Julián Boal lives in Paris and Rio de Janeiro and has worked as an independent workshop facilitator of Theater of the Oppressed (TO) for many years. In addition to his own work as a TO trainer he collaborates extensively with his father, Augusto Boal, and has presented numerous workshops in France and Brazil, and throughout the world, including Switzerland, Bosnia, Italy, Spain and the United States. He has also done a considerable amount of work in India with the famed theater company Jana Sanskriti, and was the initiator of that troupe’s annual tours to Europe. For the past several years Julian Boal has co-facilitated annual workshops for the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory at the Brecht Forum in New York. He is the artistic director of the Groupe du Théâtre de l’Opprimé in Paris and is one of the driving forces behind the International Theatre of the Oppressed Organization. He is the author of Images of a Popular Theater, as well as many articles, and is the translator of the French edition of Augusto Boal’s The Rainbow of Desire and the editor of the new French edition of Games for Actors and Non-Actors, also by Augusto Boal.
Sliding scale: $10/$15/$25
Free for Brecht Forum subscribers and Riverside Church congregants

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