Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Forum Theatre Discussion 16-10-08

I thought the discussion with Mark about cardboard citizens was very interesting, we were very open about what we really thought of the production, but also enhanced my thinking about forum theatre and how 'The Help' choose to advertise to the audience, the fact that they know how it really feels to be 'Homeless' I personally feel that some sort of emotional blackmail is used to obtain appreciation from the audience. This information did not particularly affect my personal opinion, the reason being is because, I was not interested in the background of the Actors, as I simply were on stage doing their job, this was clarified by one of the Actors as he saw him self as just the "Actor" and not the guy who was 'Homeless' who is still leaving in a "squat"and trying to get back on track. However, I must confess that it definitely caught my interest in going to see the production a lot more, knowing this information, as I wanted to experience the success and of a group of people that had a really hard time at some point in their life, as I felt the need to support their reinvention.
Furthermore the discussion about the production managed to raise a significant issue relating to DIC, this being the cause of "Offence" the horror of offending a particular group of people, and is it possible to overcome this difficult issue. I think that (Terry who the joker in the production) made it very clear to the audience at the end of the play, that she does not care if she causes offence, she believes that the only way not to offend is to respect the truth of the stories, researching as much as possible, getting to know the story and looking at it very closely from every possible angle, I thought Mark gave us a really good example how one can offend when not enough research is not made, Mark's uncle feeling alienated about Mark not wearing the right foot ware, caused an offence to Mark's uncle as he knew the field of 'Docking' very well, meaning that he did not feel respected enough as a 'docker' as the right foot ware was not represented in the play, as this being very important information that got missed out. This instantly answers the concern of offending a particular group of people, by simply questioning and asking for demonstration as they would be the most familiar with the particular area, this made me realise that research is very important in DIC.

In addition we looked at the 'Family' a Brazilian play by Augusto Boal (born April 16, 1931 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is an innovative and influential theatrical director, writer and politician. He is the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed a political theatrical form originally used in radical popular education movements, along with Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the oppressed.
'Family' is a Brazilian contemporary play about a typical family who have traditional family values and established roles within the family; The house wife and overworked mother who never has time for herself, The Father who just provides for the family, The eldest smart daughter who never does anything wrong, The middle daughter who is still finding her self and who is expected to be more like her sister, The younger son who is the joker/fool of the family but is the most untroubled family member who offers everyone a shoulder to cry on, and The grandpa the burden, who represents tradition of family and black comedy who exposes the truth about all family members. I really enjoyed reading this play I found it simple and straight forward. I think that Boal managed to put the meaning of the play across to the audience very well, I feel that even though the play does not evolve around much action and conflict, I feel that oppressed conflict within in the relationships of the family are suppressed until something as a unwanted pregnancy cause to erupt the oppressed feelings of the family towards one another.
The issue that helps this eruption to occur is 'Abortion' which questions the idea of family, Graca' s pregnancy challenges not only this family's values but many others, as we found out during the debate within the group. I believe that this particular issues is a 'Taboo subject' not many people tend to like talking about as it relates to religion, which of course cause a massive debate of controversial opinions. I think that Boal not only achieved in making the play comprehensible, but he also managed to point out the different options where Forum theatre can take place. The points of intervention that the we came up with for Graca's story were,
  • Where she's talking with her mother
  • Telling her sister earlier
  • Debate about responsibility
  • Each of the characters introduction of different actions (Bito the younger son/brother has a liberal view introducing Abortion option, Father is disgusted and against it, Mother is disappointed but willing to forgive, Eldest daughter/sister introducing marriage for the sake of the pregnancy, Grandpa traditional values a rare incident breaking down tradition
  • Keep all ideas in favour reveals a complicated game and many possibilities to resolving the situation
  • The choice belongs to Graca, or is it? What's best for Graca?
I think that this particular play is potentially very helpful in showing the different responses in a family concerning Abortion, not only helps to put the audience in different characters positions, but also allows room for therapy about dealing with this particular issue.
I am against abortion and hopefully the following links will help you realise why I feel this way

( (www.Dying

At the same time I don't know how I would really feel until I am in this particular situation, so I chose not to talk about something that I personally do not know what it feels like to physically and mentally go through, I know that it is a sin to abort as religion clarifies that, but I still think it depends on the situation, as now our days unwanted pregnancy happens as we speak. I believe this is a very strong matter that should be taken seriously, and I believe the luxury of abortion makes people unaware of the seriousness and cruelty of this matter.

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