Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scattered and Inspired: Theatre Thursday

This has been a quite busy week, with things hitting me from many angles. Not a bad week, just busy, and germs of post have been filtering in and out of my consciousness as I try to muddle through everything else.

It's THURSDAY, at least for the next 30 minutes, and so it's Theatre Thursday. Last week I thought I had learned my lesson that you all really prefer these to have photos, but alas, I don't think that's going to happen today. We all shall just have to deal with the disappointment.

One of the things that is keeping me hopping this week is this ENORMOUS undertaking happening down in New Orleans, a gathering of youth the size of which continues to astound me. Luther@n youth who have come from all over the country for this convention, a huge part of which is volunteering their time and energies to help get our beloved and still recovering city a bit more firmly up on her feet. My fabulous husband has been working on this for quite some time, and just this week was pulled, at the last minute due to someone else having illness in the family, into the role of the local media go-to man. I have been watching him on TV and on the web with enormous pride.

But that is neither here nor there in regards to this Theatre Thursday post.

On Saturday I am leading a workshop with appx 40 youth and their adult leaders on using theatre to promote justice and social change. One of my many (did I stress many?) activities this week has been pouring over my books by the late Augusto Boal (he died May 2 of this year, which I just learned today doing research online).

Augusto Boal was a Brazilian theatre artist (later exiled from Brazil for his work) who developed Theatre of the Oppressed, a way of doing theatre that raises awareness of oppression and asks the question of how we respond to being oppressed.

I met Augusto Boal several years ago, at a workshop in Los Angeles. I worked with a company that did much Theatre for Social Justice work (oh... now there's a post I can do with some pictures... maybe next week??) and they paid for me to attend this workshop.

As I was starting to plan my own workshop for this Saturday, I knew that I would be using much of Boal's work. I tried to remember things from the workshop, and could only vaguely remember the room that we were in, and Boal as being a quiet but highly energetic man. However, as I was reading through my (signed, thankyouverymuch) copy of Games for Actors and Non-Actors (a way better and more comprehensive book than the title suggests) things were rushing back to me in images and sounds and emotions. It was a bit wild.

Anyhow... in lieu of a real post I thought I would share with you a quote that jumped out at me today:

Theatre should be happiness, it should help us learn about ourselves and our times. We should know the world we live in, the better to change it. Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.

It's so hopeful and inspiring. It is making me long for the artists I worked with in Los Angeles. I miss this work. I didn't realize how much.

And it has made me want to get the leading of this workshop on Saturday RIGHT. So off I go to work some more on it...


Anonymous said...

You never fail to amaze me! How much more there is to life in the theatre and how connected what you do is to the fullness of our lives.

Which makes me wonder WTF is wrong with Hollywood and the cult of celebrity. Certainly there is much more to these people than the tripe that gets reported.

NotSoSage said...

What de said.

Seriously, took the words right out of my mouth...every word.


Melissa said...

That sounds like an amazing session. Good luck!

flutter said...

you just rock, you know that?

kayerj said...

great quote, good luck with the workshop and kudo's to the kids.

Cold Spaghetti said...

A friend from college and I were just talking in Scotland about how we use Boal techniques in our respective fields (her in education, for training teachers how to build community within a classroom -- me for public health action research). Performance is so basic to how we learn and such a strong part of our daily lives... I love how you show this in these posts!