Students will analyze relevant texts and discover the possibilities of a forum theatre piece—its plot and characters—by identifying an oppressor, oppressed, and oppression.
Different clippings of articles from hard or electronic copies of newspapers. Make sure they are all current, and on the topic that the class has decided to tackle with forum theatre.
Have Newspaper clippings and articles spread out on the stage. Ask students to pair up, and pair up the pairs making groups of four (or five). They are to go onto stage and find an article they want to use to create a piece on.
Step One—DIRECTIONS: Students will take a few minutes to read the article out-loud with one another. On a separate piece of paper, the students will write about the oppression that is taking place. Choose an oppressor, an oppressed, and what oppression is taking place. List any other key words to describe the theme of this article. These might be implicit in the article, and the article might just serve as an inspiration. Call this Paper A. Highlight any important quotes, and choose the one that you feel is most important to your article. Write it on a separate piece of paper, Paper B.
Step Two—TRANSITION: Ask students to hand in Paper A. Tell them they will have it back after this activity. The groups will temporarily disband as we do the machine activity, but will regroup immediately afterwards.
Step Three—GUIDED PRACTICE: Using the words on the paper the students have given you, choose a few to create machines based on. Ask students the components of creating a machine. Students will start be creating a basic machine with a sound and a movement. One student begins, and one-by-one students add in until the machine is complete. Once the machine is complete, it will slow down and eventually stop. Reading from Paper A, you will choose one word, and students will create a machine using the same process based on that word.
Step Four—DISCUSSION: Between each machine, take time to discuss the general feeling of the machine regarding the word. Was the machine united? Disjointed? Was there an element of sarcasm or was the machine sincere? Did it work well? Did it not? Discuss how the students feel about each topic, and how this was evidenced in the machine. How did feelings play off of one another? Hand Paper A back.
Step Five—GUIDED PRACTICE: Each group will exchange Paper B. One member of the group will read the quote to her group, and sculpt the rest of her members into an image that she feels physicalizes the quote. She will then present this image to the other groups and read the quote.
Step Six—DISCUSSION/GUIDED PRACTICE: Discuss the pictures created. What does each group think of the image in relation to the quote? What stands out? What is mission? After discussion, have the groups re-assemble to edit and adjust the sculpture, the to present again.
Ask students how understanding and thoughts are enhanced by images. Ask students to hold onto Paper A and come prepared to use it in the next class.