Forun Theatre research

In order to appreciate the potential relevance of Boal’s work within a British TIE context, it is important to remind ourselves of some key features of Theatre in Education itself: that its prime motivation lies in its explicit educational purpose and that its distinctive formal feature is its use of active audience participation. Central to the work, in all its variety of theatre forms and educational strategies, are the twin convictions that human behaviour and institutions are formed through social activity and can therefore be changed, and that audiences, as potential agents of change, should be active participants in their own learning.

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

Copyright © 1993. Routledge. All rights reserved.

SECTIION 2 TALK ABOUT HOW I FEEL THE CHILDREN NEED TO IDENTIFY WITH THEM SELVES RATHER THAN BEING TOLD

At this time GYPT was working to develop a dialectical and materialist practice through which its audiences could be actively engaged as the subjects in the learning process (as opposed to passive objects who are filled with knowledge by and from others) but simultaneously be challenged to take a critically objective view of their experience, recognizing themselves as part of the same social reality from which the contents of the TIE programmes were drawn. The central educational concern of the company was to find ways of reuniting feelings, thoughts and actions in its audiences, and thus create a praxis in direct opposition to those practices in both theatre and education which tend to keep them separated.

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

Copyright © 1993. Routledge. All rights reserved.

CRUCIAL CONCIOISNESS

Teachers and students (leadership and people) co-intent on reality, are both subjects, not only in the task of unveiling that reality, and thereby coming to know it critically, but in the task of re-creating that knowledge. As they attain this knowledge of reality through common reflection and action (praxis) they discover themselves as its permanent re-creators. In this way, the presence of the oppressed in the struggle for their liberation will be what it should be: not pseudo-participation but committed involvement. (Freire 1972:44; my italics)

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

Both Freire and Boal espoused the cause of human liberation, and Boal, like Freire, came to realize that the process of liberation begins with a critically active response to your own experience: this will not be developed by those— be they teachers or actors (or political leaders)—who tell others what their

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

At that time the company was re-mounting a programme for the fourteen-plus age range. The programme, A Land Fit For Heroes, was designed, by an extraordinary coincidence, to explore, at the conceptual level, the relationships between experience, thought and action. At the heart of the programme was an extended role-play which took as its starting point the historical events of the 1926 British General Strike. The school pupils were carefully inducted to a variety of roles chosen to reflect a cross-section of society in a provincial industrial town of the period. The roles included coal miners, railway workers, shop-keepers, farmers and landed gentry. One group of pupils were journalists and produced a small newspaper. The different socio-economic interests of different groups (e.g. the railway workers) were cross-threaded with individual family and class loyalties. Once in role the pupils worked alongside the actor-teachers, also in role, within a carefully designed theatrical environment. Although the experience was carefully structured to produce a number of different initial conflicts between groups, there were no predetermined outcomes. Once the action began, the actor-teacher’s choices and actions proceeded in response to those of the pupils. No two ‘performances’ were ever the same, and the finishing point was determined solely by the strictures of time. The whole undertaking was extremely complex, but we knew from experience that it was very effective for revealing the discrepancies that arise between what people say they will do (in theory) and what they actually do when confronted with the immediacy of a situation. The pupils always became emotionally involved and felt very keenly the dilemmas that arose. They were often able to reflect upon their own actions during the event itself, stepping in and out of role of their own volition (the company never stopped the action), and were certainly able to do so once the role-play had finished, often expressing surprise at their own contradictory behaviour during its progress. However, the drama operated at a very high level of emotional intensity as a ‘lived through’ experience in real time: the educational challenge lay in trying to find a method to help them examine, objectively, after the experience, the forces which had been at work on them and which had preconditioned many of their responses. What was needed was a new activity which would maintain their emotional engagement, and at the same time allow them to reflect upon and analyse their recent

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

Copyright © 1993. Routledge. All rights reserved.

At that time the company was re-mounting a programme for the fourteen-plus age range. The programme, A Land Fit For Heroes, was designed, by an extraordinary coincidence, to explore, at the conceptual level, the relationships between experience, thought and action. At the heart of the programme was an extended role-play which took as its starting point the historical events of the 1926 British General Strike. The school pupils were carefully inducted to a variety of roles chosen to reflect a cross-section of society in a provincial industrial town of the period. The roles included coal miners, railway workers, shop-keepers, farmers and landed gentry. One group of pupils were journalists and produced a small newspaper. The different socio-economic interests of different groups (e.g. the railway workers) were cross-threaded with individual family and class loyalties. Once in role the pupils worked alongside the actor-

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

Copyright © 1993. Routledge. All rights reserved.

In this section link it to the American teacher and hot wiring the car.

At that time the company was re-mounting a programme for the fourteen-plus age range. The programme, A Land Fit For Heroes, was designed, by an extraordinary coincidence, to explore, at the conceptual level, the relationships between experience, thought and action. At the heart of the programme was an extended role-play which took as its starting point the historical events of the 1926 British General Strike. The school pupils were carefully inducted to a variety of roles chosen to reflect a cross-section of society in a provincial industrial town of the period. The roles included coal miners, railway workers, shop-keepers, farmers and landed gentry. One group of pupils were journalists and produced a small newspaper. The different socio-economic interests of different groups (e.g. the railway workers) were cross-threaded with individual family and class loyalties. Once in role the pupils worked alongside the actor-

Jackson, Anthony, ed. Learning Through Theatre. London, GBR: Routledge, 1993. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 26 January 2015.

Copyright © 1993. Routledge. All rights reserved.

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