WHAT WE DO
We use the ideology and techniques of Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed to guide our participants in identifying needs, discussing issues, exploring solutions, and telling their stories--culminating in creating and performing an original play around relevant issues that is performed for peers, legislators, and the wider community. Through this process, participants learn key reentry skills, feel humanized, and realize they can be change agents in society, while audiences get to engage with those most affected by the system and participate in an active discussion of change.
We believe those most affected by the issues are the best situated to lead the reform movement. We don’t have the answers, but we do have powerful, theatrical tools that we can share so those most affected can take the power and have a platform to be heard. The performances our participants create and share with the community advocate for equity and the needs of our participants in an effort to create long-term policy and societal changes--and so, we listen.
The type of theatre we do, Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), actively includes everyone in the creation process, and is used to help people think through issues, discuss meaning, and explore solutions. In one activity called Forum Theatre, we stage a true story where our participant felt some form of oppression, yet sees potential for change in that situation. The audience then jumps in and tries out different ways to stop the oppression. As a group, we discuss the consequences of the presented solution, both short-term and long-term, as well as how feasible it is. By playing out each solution in real time, we get to rehearse for the revolution in a safe space and feel truly prepared to enact change in the real world. By exploring many different solutions, we engage our community in a meaningful conversation about creating change, expand the dialogue to include many voices, and organize against oppression.