Students will understand the structure of forum theatre as well as the roles of both actor and spect-actor by creating, performing, and participating in one another’s mini-pieces.
*At this point, you need to contact teachers who have a class this same period and find one that would be willing to bring their class to this workshop.
Using the Arsenal of Theatre of the Oppressed, have two games—one warm up, one using images—that will help set the mood for the piece of Forum Theatre the students will create today.
Use one of the warm-up games focused on whatever topic the students have chosen to tackle with the students.
Step One—DISCUSSION: Ask students how a warm-up game can help spect-actors prepare for image theatre? Ask students if they were leading this warm-up, what kind of questions could they ask their spect-actors after playing the game to help prepare them for the topics that would be presented? Have one student record the questions.
Step Two—TRANSITION/DIRECTIONS: Ask students to take out Paper A from the last class. Using the information they have, they have five minutes to create a 2-minute or less piece with a clear beginning, middle, end, oppressor, oppressed, and oppression.
Step Three—INDEPENDENT PRACTICE: Students will create this piece quickly, and have time to practice it perhaps once or twice.
Step Four—GROUP PRACTICE: Have students present their piece to one another once. Have groups perform a second or third time if necessary. The group watching are the “spect-actors”. The second or third time they are to yell “freeze” at any point and take the place of the protagonist to try and stop the oppression. Explain to the actors as well as the spect-actors their roles and objectives (ie: the spect-actors to try and honestly break the oppression, the actors to make it difficult for the spect-actor to break the oppression, to not give an easy win). Following each performance, have a discussion about what worked and what did not. Discuss the “Why’s” and the “How’s”.
After both groups’ pieces have performed and discussed have the group come to a decision about the piece they will create together. Who will be the oppressor, who will be the oppressed, what will be the oppression? Tell them next class period we will write and rehearse the script.