At the start of this session, we spoke about Theatre of the Oppressed. We also spoke about what Oppression actually is. Oppression is when you put people down emotionally, in whatever way. We came up with some examples of this happening in the world:
Most of this session was focused on Boal’s book, “Games For Actors and Non-Actors”. We did a few of the exercises from this book and then developed work from these exercises.
The first exercise we did was Columbian Hypnosis. This is where someone puts a hand in front of your face and you have to focus on it and keep the same distance between the hand and your face at all times while they move it around. This exercise helps you to focus, having just the hand to stare at.
We then did Minimum Surface Contact. This is where you have to move around the floor using as little of your body as possible. The idea of this is that you’re supposed to not think about what your doing and just let your body do the work.
Next we did Minimum Partner Contact which is the same idea as Minimum Surface Contact but instead of the floor, you use a person.
The next exercise we did was called Abstract Emotion. This is where you count up from one, getting as high as you can, with the emotion getting more intense each time. The idea is to try and get as high as possible without the emotion getting as intense as it can too early. This is designed to make you think about the intricacies of emotion and how each stage would be portrayed.
We then did an exercise called Everyone Becomes An Animal. This is where we had to walk from one end of the room to the other, starting as an animal and gradually become human. After we had done this, we had to walk as a human but take one trait from our chosen animal and repeat this. This helped us with our creativity, because everyone immediately got into an animal without questioning what and why they were doing it.
After this, we were put into groups and given a stimulus. Our stimulus was that there was a barrier we couldn’t get past. We had to use inspiration from all the exercises we had done in the session.
After a short time, we were told we had to include 2 or 3 lines from Hecuba’s 9 line speech on page 25. We decided that everyone should choose a word and keep repeating it, gradually getting angrier. Then at the end, we would all say the line “My fate is sealed and I will know nothing but misery.”
When this was done, we put our performance together with the other groups performance.