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The Theatre of the Oppressed

The games and exercises

Games and exercises are used to create a very dynamic and creative atmosphere were people face pleasant challenges looking for very positive strategies. Games  allow to reinforce the group, the communication, to share differences and similarities, without anybody exposing oneself.

The collective problem solving aspects of these games and exercises reinforce the group spirit and allow to tackle even the most tricky issues in a very playful atmosphere. 

We have games for any issue: From prevention of sexual abuses to tackling Gender Based Violence, or assessing the level of conflict in an area. Whatever oppression you want to tackle we will find the game, contact us!

Image Theatre

Through image theatre, bodies are used to express oppression. No words are being used. Our bodies tell us faster where abuse of power lies. This technique is very much appreciated since it allows people to express an issue without exposing oneself. Bodies are sculpted in order to tell a story other people will have to guess. People watching the image will also project their own stories. It is impossible to identify who exactly is talking about what. All are building knowledge on a common oppression. Shy people can act out a very hot topic without saying any word. Image will gradually allow participants to put words on a tricky issue. Untold stories come out, and no one will be exposing oneself. Attention won’t be focused on anyone but on the issue to be overcome.

Image theatre can be used in schools, in the street, for a Theatrical assembly, for voting a City Budget. It allows to identify issues at stake and quickly go for collective problem solving. Contact us for more information!

Forum Theatre

Forum Theatre is a performance where the audience can intervene to change a story. An unhappy ending story. First people see the play. At the end a facilitator will start a dialogue with the audience to trigger participation and decide if the story could change. If the audience considers the story unveils real oppression and if people believe this kind of injustice should not be accepted anymore, then the story will start again. But this time the audience can stop it when they believe change could happen. The facilitator stimulates and invites people to step in the play to try their ideas and proposals in a protected framework. Actors interact and show the consequences of any intervention. The audience assesses the progress and the risks. At the end participants decide collectively which actions should be started when the performance will end. 

We have several videos if you want to see it. If you are interested see our Performance page. We have many ready performances but we can create one for your very specific needs. Feel comfortable to contact us!

Invisible Theatre

Invisible Theatre is a performance happening in a public space where people are not aware theatre is being used to trigger participation on tricky issues. This technique is not meant to manipulate people. Theatre is being used to raise a clear question where everybody will have an opportunity to take action. The goal is to stimulate intervention on issues that people often don’t know how to tackle. Here again Theatre allows to give a protected framework where mistake has no cost. In general is not revealed to participants that theatre was used . We want people to talk about the issue, not about theatre.

Example1 : In a public event a men constantly interrupts a women until people react. Why is this man doing that? is it common? Do women also do that in the public sphere? we trigger debate and reaction. At minute 1 of this video you can see the Italian version of this performance. example 2: A man(actor:) beats his dog in a crowded place. People react: “dogs should be respected etc.”. In the same place a man starts beating his partner. Nobody intervenes. (actors) passers by then raise questions. How come we are all so prone to intervene when a dog is beaten but not when it is a women? What should be done?

Theatrical Assembly

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The Theatrical Assembly is an invention of Parteciparte to face situations of extreme tension or urgency where there is no time/fund to prepare a performance or where a very specific situation has to be staged by the participants, on the spot. For instance violence explodes in an area and people want to find a peaceful solution. Since talking brings more conflict. We will use games to bring tension down and image theatre to work on the problem without talking to much.

We use Theatrical Assemblies to involve big groups (from 100 to 300 people) on an issue in a short time (from 30 minutes to 2 hours). Or to create dialogue where violence has become the main option and where change should be tried quickly.

Photo shows a theatrical assembly held in an area of Rome that got heavily damaged by drug dealing and sexual harassment. Habitants used Theatre to decide how to react and survive.

Mytho-Theatre

Mytho-Theatre uses old Myths and well known stories to explore nowadays oppression. We mainly use it in the street, using Rome’s scenery or the important public places of a City to reflect and act on an issue through a historical prospective.

Legislative Theatre

Legislative Theatre is complementary to the Forum Theatre. At the end of the Forum the audience votes for Law proposals or new policies. These are then advocated for or implemented. In some cases moments of advocacy can be tried on stage

Parteciparte is very much involved at the legislative level on Women’s rights and on the issue of Masculine Violence. We are currently collecting proposals and participating in the writing of the Shadow Report of the Convention on Elimination of Discriminations Against Women that will be presented at the Italian Parliament and at the UN in 2017.

Participatory Budgeting

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The Participatory Budget is a moment when an Administration involves Citizens and asks them to define Policies, Projects and priorities in order plan the Budget. How Public money should be spent can thus be decided collectively. But without a clear methodology this could provoke long and heavy debates with no guarantee to get results.

That why two Rome Municipalities have asked us to facilitate the Participatory Budget. In one case 101 projects were defined and hierarchized through theatre. 48 were realized. In the other case Citizens had to determine how a part of the Budget had to be used. For this we went to consult the people normally not involved in such a process but living on their skin the problems of the territory. People with disability, refugees, students. Exploring the problems first and then voting proposals.

Using Theatre to vote the Budget of the Community allows to save money! People express the problems with their bodies. They propose solutions and projects with their bodies. Through theatre they go for Human solutions, and often money is not the central issue.

The Theatrical Powerpoint

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The Theatrical Powerpoint stages research reports or complex books to make them accessible to all with interactive theatrical techniques. It makes alive and concrete a text that might seem abstract to the majority and allows you to also make it known to those who normally do not access this kind of information.

It works as a powerpoint presentation, but instead of projections and slides, the actors make human statues or scenes depicting the contents of the relationship and the situations at stake.

We have already staged: the Italian Shadow Report of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), presented to Parliament and the United Nations; Anna Simone’s book “The Talent of Women” and the Gender Equality Index of the European Union.