This course is a continuation of exploration begun in Drama 4081, Theater for Social Change: a prerequisite for this advanced course. Students will expand from exploring their own experience with oppression to facilitating that exploration with others. Students will be introduced to the "Joker" system, developed by Brazilian director Augusto Boal. The Joker is the director of a forum theater event. He leads both the exploration and play-making phases of the process.
In preparation for stepping into this role, students will read Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed which will give them a foundation in the power and efficacy of collaborative educational techniques. In addition, students will read Theatre for Living, Canadian director David Diamond's book detailing his application of Boalian techniques in a less overtly oppressive society.
Students will begin their practical exploration by first working with one another, learning how to lead exercises and games, followed by an exploration of play making and the facilitation of an interactive forum theater event.
The course will culminate in an outside project in which each student is placed with a St. Louis area school or social organization. The student will apply skills he has acquired throughout the semester by serving as the "Joker" of the workshop. In this role, the student will lead the entirety of the workshop process with a selected group exploring ways of effecting positive social change in a theatrical context. He will facilitate exercises with the group that mine a chosen area of oppression with which the group is grappling. The student will guide play-making with the group that highlights this area of oppression. The resulting plays will then be presented to the larger school or organization community. This culminating event will be an interactive forum theater presentation that the student will lead as "Joker."
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS SD I; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC; FA CPSC