INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED
This workshop is an introduction to the sociopolitical activist forms that make up the arsenal of the Theatre of the Oppressed (TO): a collection of games, techniques, and exercises that use theatre as a vehicle for personal and social change. It is a method that harnesses the laboratory of the theatre as a powerful tool for exploring power, transforming oppression, and finding community-building solutions to the problems of inequality, conflict and injustice. Originally developed in Brazil by theatre innovator Augusto Boal, these forms were inspired by popular education practices, and employed with peasants and workers throughout Latin America. Now they are used internationally and have been developed and adapted by countless companies and practitioners. This workshop will engage students with TO’s foundational ideas and expose them to the interactive games and exercises at its core. Students will investigate social, political, and artistic intersections through introductory Image and Forum Theatre exercises.
Alexander Santiago-Jirau is Director of Education at New York Theatre Workshop. In that role, he oversees all of NYTW’s Education Initiatives, including the Mind the Gap: Intergenerational Theatre Workshop, student matinees, in-school artist residencies, master classes, internships, and public programs. Alex is also on the faculty of the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University Steinhardt. He holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.A. from New York University.
New York Theatre Workshop
New York Theatre Workshop (www.NYTW.org) is dedicated to ensuring the robust and compelling presence of the artist in our society. NYTW produces an annual season of productions in our 199-seat theater in Manhattan’s East Village and invites theatre-makers at all stages of their careers, to participate in designing Artistic Workshop activities that support their individual creative development. Over three decades, four of our productions have transferred to Broadway, including RENT, DIRTY BLONDE, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, and ONCE. Most recently, our productions of WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? BACHARACH REIMAGINED and LAZARUS transferred to London’s West End. Our productions have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, seventeen Tony Awards and numerous Obie, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards.