Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Boal and The Help 16th October 08

This lesson started with a discussion about 'The Help'. I really enjoyed this discussion as I was able to hear everyone else's opinion on the production. I think that the majority of the class was either surprised or glad that they enjoyed the performance as we all took something from the night: inspiration, knowledge and awareness. I am glad we had a post show discussion as I was able to clarify a few things like why the joker, Terry was confused that we were concerned we might offend people if we have not had the experience they have. We came to several conclusions to why the group are worried we may offend:

1. Although we may have done our research there is a danger of stereo typing the person we are presenting. But then, a few people argued that if you have done your research what more can you do? So, the person you are presenting would not be offended.

2. It is a British manner to be polite and not offend people, so we are scared to break this manner.

3. The story that you are telling can be very sensitive to people, so is there a correct way to tell it back without offending them?

4. Being conscious of the whole political correctness which has gone slightly too far "baa baa rainbow coloured sheep"!

After, our discussion we read through Augusto Boal's 'Family' which is 'A play script used during the mandate as a basis for Forum Sessions'. It is based on a lower-middle class family who find out the youngest daughter is pregnant. We discussed what type of audience we would perform it to which was teenagers and parents. We also discussed that we could not forum any of the other characters except Glaca (the younger daughter) as she is the one with the problem that needs a possible solution. And if you were to forum for example the father you could solve the problem easily but it is not true to life and does not educate the audience. I believe that Forum Theatre educates the audience even if it is something small.
At the end of the lesson, Mark mentioned a you tube link which can be found on his blog dated 30th July 2008. It was nice to see an example of community theatre that Mark had helped with as what we discuss with him in class can be seen for real. It was also nice to see Forum Theatre being done out of the UK and still being successful.

I found a few interesting quotes and facts relating to Boal in The Twentieth-Century Performance Reader 2nd Edition by Michael Huxley and Noel Witts:
  • 'Popular audiences are interested in experimenting......they try to enter into a dialogue with the actors, to interrupt the action, to ask for explanations without waiting politely for the end of the play'. I thought that this quote from Boal was very true to Forum Theatre and maybe why it is successful.
  • This quote was interesting to me as I was unaware of it and proves to the people who think Drama is not a real subject or a proper degree! - 'Boal is currently Member of Parliament of Rio de Janiero's Workers Party (PT), where he is developing his most recent theatre form - the legislative theatre -, which involves using theatre techniques to enable communities to propose laws, which they would like the council (chambre de Vereadores) to formalise.'
  • As I believe that Forum Theatre educates the audience, I came across another type of theatre called Guerrilla Theatre which also educates. Guerrilla Theatre was extremely popular in the sixties and is performed on the streets. It is a type of protesting but through theatre. 'When ACT UP members lie down in the streets simulating the dead and dying of AIDS .....not only does the media catch the event and broadcast it, but group members are also invigorated, reaffirming in public their belief in their cause and each other' This is an example of Guerrilla Theatre.

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