I have just returned from Omaha, Nebraska where I attended a TO conference (Theatre of the Oppressed). It was a full six days of workshops, dialogue, performances and socialising. There was a three day Legislative Theatre pre-conference workshop and opportunities to work with practitioners including:
Mariana Leal Ferreira
Gloria J. Ladson-Billings
Biographies can be accessed at KEYNOTE BIOGRAPHIES
HERE IS AN OUTLINE OF THE PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP ON LEGISLATIVE THEATRE:
WE explored Theatre of the Oppressed’s Legislative Theatre with jokers Barbara Santos (who worked with Augusto Boal at the original Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro) and Jose Soeiro, TO activist in Portugal. Our theme was Education, and we created Image Theatre, Forum Theatre and finally a full Legislative Theatre Session which was attended by invited guests and conference participants.
What is Legislative Theatre?
From The Forum Project’s website:
Legislative Theatre is an extension of Boal’s Forum Theatre techniques and functions to determine the need for, create, and enact laws. Beyond community building and issue awareness, Legislative Theatre uses theatrical techniques to create concrete and specific socio-political impact:
“In the Legislative Theatre the aim is to bring the theatre back to the heart of the city, to produce not catharsis but dynamisation…The Legislative Theatre seeks to go further [than Forum Theatre] and to transform that desire in to law” (A. Boal, Legislative Theatre 20).
After an intense three days we began the Conference at University of Omaha where Doug Patterson started TO twenty years ago. TO BE CONTINUED.