“Spectator” Is a BAD word!

November 11, 2007 at 6:09 am (Uncategorized)

“Spectator is a bad word!” (Gerould, 473).

                Boal advocated that the spectator free himself from his passive role and become active in the progression of the action on stage. In attempting to free Brazilian theatre from its “overdependence upon European models,” (Gerould, 462) Boal began revolutionary types of theatre centred around making the audience involved with the actors on stage to a degree not previously seen.

                Boal believes strongly in the active-ability of the audience. He feels that the audience members were capable of playing an active role during theatre performances rather than a passive role. In this way, it can be said that Boal feels that theatre should be available to all people, regardless of class, race age or nationality- everyone can and should be involved in the “happening” of theatre. This sentiment was implemented as Boal attempted to create theatre in unconventional places, among the masses- raw productions in places such as street cafes, restaurants, parks, prisons etc. This type of theatre was termed “Invisible Theatre.” His liberal views saw the spectator actually acting within the theatre. These spectators must break down the major divisions constructed by the ruling classes- the spectator on one level and the actor on another. Instead, he believes that theatre is something everyone partakes and participates in, the people involved become “spect-actors,” (Gerould, 473). “Forum Theatre” allows for the audience tpo participate in the decision –making process on stage. This active role played by the spect-actors leads to rehearsal for social change, – moderated by the “joker” who acts as a sort of director. The purpose of this type of theatre is to find a solution to the issue or problem (such as a problem brought on by a social revolution). In order to achieve social change, a solution must be reached. Boal advocated that we are all equals. The performers should be on an equal playing field with the audience members- the audience members should actually BECOME the performers. Schiller would have agreed with Boal’s method because he too, believed that theatre could bring about social change (in the form of a social institution such as the Church or the Law). Boal goes beyond Schiller and takes theatre to the streets, the parks, trade-unions and prisons, trying to expose as many people as possible to performance and attempts to include everyone in the action.

INTERESTING TO CHECK OUT ———–> http://www.theatreoftheoppressed.org

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1 Comment

  1. theprof said,

    I like the idea of Boal going beyond Schiller – Schiller seems to want to teach the audience proper moral behaviour, but not to question what we deem to be proper moral behaviour. I wonder where Brecht fits in on this one?

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