Theatre of the Oppressed

CFP started to use theater in the Tel Aviv-Tulkarm group. The Theater activities are based on Augusto Boal’s “Theater of the Oppressed”, in practice and theory. This is the model which aims to bring change through Theater. The Theater is a non-violent tool that allows Israelis and Palestinians to work together toward an understanding of implications of the occupation and peace based on non-violent principles. One of the central techniques for the application of “Theater of the Oppressed” is the “Theater Forum”. CFP members are the actors, and they perform before an Israeli and Palestinian audience. They present examples of suppression from their own personal experiences, which are usually familiar to the audience.

After the Israeli and Palestinian audience watches the scene, the forum begins. The audience is invited to change the scene by replacing one of the actors. The audience member steps onto the stage, and the scene is replayed. The rest of the characters do not change substantively; rather the newcomer shows how s/he wants to change the situation. After each scene, there is a short discussion. The performances take place on the ground: in the village or at a road-block. There is full partnership with the Palestinians and Israelis that sit in the audience. The Theater presents an opportunity for non- violent resistance. The Theater is an opportunity for the audience to do a “switch” and to envision the long-awaited change. An important feature of these performances is that the audience members are active participants and not just observers. Instead of just talking about the other, the Theater allows the audience to step into the shoes of the other.

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela

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