Asynchronous Drama Activities
This activity steps on different theatrical approaches. One of those being theatre of the oppressed and the other – verbatim theatre.
The first form of theatre steps on the idea of developing reaction and intervention impulses against all types of oppression promoted by the theatre of the oppressed. Theatre of the oppressed opens the possibility for dialogue by turning the spectators into spect-actors – able to step in at any point and influence the way the play is evolving. Here one group (from country A) can do scenes with local problems, share those with other groups and get proposals for solutions or changes, considered from a different perspective – played out as a drama piece.
The second form of theatre – verbatim – gives a voice to those who feel not confident to speak and brings to light stories that are harder to share. Verbatim can include activities with recording one’s stories and sharing those with another person, allowing them the opportunity to tell them as if they are theirs. Verbatim theatre is theatre created from real people’s words. It is a form of documentary theatre that originates from the UK and has been successfully allowing theatre makers to explore different events and themes through the words of people, who partook in those events and are able to share valuable details and insightful comments. This type of theatre originated from the desire of the drama society to bring into the light hidden law suits or political decisions, affecting large groups in society. Verbatim is directly connected to a technological advancement, namely the invention of portable cassette recording devices. At present times verbatim plays deliver to the audience’s attention real, existing situations, whether old or contemporary.
To support the process of global education, awareness, intercultural understanding and communication via asynchronous theatrical activities.
Theatre companies of between 5 and 10 participants from each country.
AGE OF PARTICIPANTS
This is a long-term activity, which calls for numerous national and international meetings.
Eg. if needed – any cards, additional pages and print-outs etc., entitled Attachment 1, Attachment 2…
Zoom access, internet, computer or phone for connection during the live sessions online, prompts for the theatrical activities on sites (chairs, scarfs, paper for notes, hats, etc.), stages where the results from the work done by the groups in the different countries can be filmed, video editing skills and software
Step by step with the theatre of the oppressed:
Group 1 in country A needs to prepare with cases of oppression or injustice (could be discussed with officials from local authorities or with school administrations, youth clubs, social service bodies, police, etc.), which are considered important to solve or ameliorate. Group 1 brainstorms for such problems and rallies around 1 of them. With the help of a local theatre expert or via online zoom meetings, the group discusses the topic with a theatre expert and also becomes acquainted with a document on Theatre of the oppressed, developed under the T.I.P. project. The theatre expert supports them in the process of creating a 15-20 minutes theatre piece on the topic, ending with the state of gravity, which the young people are trying to change. The piece is played out, recorded and shared with youth from other countries. This can take several sessions.
Group/s 2 and 3 .. in countries B, C … view the piece of theatre of the oppressed, do a brainstorming on the problematic topic and change the scenario according to the way they see it being possibly solved or ameliorated. The changed scenario is played out, recorded and then sent back to Group 1 to consider.
Group 1 provides feedback and gratitude to all groups and shares the solutions proposed with their local community, probably even organizing a local theatre of the oppressed event. The purpose being not to find the best solutions, but to trigger/install activism and also provide a channel for considering the opinions of young people from other countries and continents.
As part of a verbatim activity monologues or dialogues on personal or social issues can be shared in writing or as audio recordings with other youth, who can return recordings (audio or video) of those, keeping the anonymity of the authors and sticking to the text/content.
Young people from Groups 1 (country A) and 2 (country B) use either their own personal stories or research (following the technique of verbatim) other people’s stories and create recorded monologues or discussions – simple audio files. These files are exchanged and discussed within the groups and new audio versions of the stories are created and exchanged. The groups can afterwards have a zoom call for a facilitated discussion on the topic of exclusion, empathy, etc. The discussion facilitators should step on the stories presented in the audio files and include satellite issues that are worth considering. There should be a min of one facilitator per country and the online workshop should be prepared by the facilitators’ team in order to cover subjects that are valuable for each of the youth groups involved.
Personal stories (could be anonymous again) can be shared in writing or as audio recordings and then be retold by other young actors with allowed interpretation and personal point of view – mix between verbatim and playback theatre. The difference between this approach and the previous one is personalizing someone else’s story and owning it. After the “new” stories are exchanged, the authors of the originals should be asked to share whether they recognize their story in the respective modified version and how they relate to this other person’s reality.
(c) learning about a topic
Documentary & Verbatim Theatre:
Theatre of the oppressed:
Download the PDF version of the digital method