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July 12, 2010 | by  | in Theatre | [ssba]

Forum Theatre: Student flatting


At 5.30 in the afternoon on Wednesday the 14th, six actors will be descending on Mount Street Bar to perform Forum Theatre about the issues of student flatting. Forum Theatre is a kind of interactive performance where spectator is a dirty word—instead of just watching, the audience become spect-actors and get involved in making the theatre.

The show is being performed as part of Re-Orientation 2010 and as the major practical component of Theatre honours student Joel Baxendale’s 489 research into Theatre of the Oppressed—a method of theatre originally developed by Brazilian Augusto Boal, for empowering people, raising consciousness, and rehearsing for real future action.

In this performance the actors will perform a short play, following the protagonist as she encounters some of the problems that occur with student flatting, and the people who cause those problems: the ‘oppressors’. At the end of the play the oppressions will reach a climax, after which the audience will be invited to offer solutions to the protagonist’s problems and to replace her in the play to act out their own suggestions.

The point of Forum Theatre is to provide the opportunity to try out different possibilities for the future. In transforming the spectator into the protagonist of theatrical action, everyone, either personally or vicariously, will have rehearsed the different ways to combat oppression, in whatever form, and be more able to apply them to real life. In Boal’s words, we “try to change society rather than contenting ourselves with merely interpreting it,” and this theatre provides us with a safe space for experimenting how to deal with that social reality.

Earlier in the year the same group of actors, who are a mix of theatre students and graduates, performed Invisible Theatre in one of the THEA203 lectures. They acted out an argument over how assignments were marked to a class that was completely oblivious to the rehearsed nature of the scene before them, in an attempt to promote open discussion about the issue. Passers-by may also have seen the group in the quad at lunchtime late last semester, performing Newspaper Theatre.

After performing in Mount Street Bar, the group will then take the show to Karori campus to perform it in the common room at 12pm on Thursday the 15th. The shows are completely free and open to all.

What: Forum Theatre Performance
When and Where: 14 July 5.30pm Mount Street Bar, 15 July 12pm Karori Campus Common Room


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