The workshops

Please email or ring for more information!  

Series of 2-hour weekly workshops

in Melbourne's Yarra Ranges, Knox, Maroondah and Casey areas with games, improvisations, image theatre and short play development, potentially concluding with a mini forum theatre.

Half-day workshop in eastern Melbourne districts with a selection of activities including games, improvisations and image theatre or a choice of Cops in The Head, The Rainbow of Desire or Corporations in Our Heads.

Full-day workshop in Melbourne area with a combination of games, improvisations, image theatre and a choice of Cops in The Head, The Rainbow of Desire or Corporations in Our Heads.

Three-day workshop

in Melbourne or interstate includes a combination of games, improvisations, image theatre PLUS

Cops in The Head, The Rainbow of Desire, Corporations in Our Heads

OR

Your Wildest Dream

Power Play (The six-day workshop including Forum Theatre)

in Melbourne or interstate includes a combination of games, improvisations, image theatre

PLUS either

a selection from Cops in The Head, The Rainbow of Desire and/or Corporations in Our Heads

OR

Your Wildest Dream

AS WELL AS short play development.

This workshop may conclude in a forum theatre event (see below)

What is forum theatre?

In the longer workshops or workshop series, short plays of about 20 minutes are developed presenting fictional conflicted situations, without suggesting solutions. These plays are performed twice before an audience. In the second performance, anyone in the audience with direct personal experience in a similar situation is invited to replace an actor and potentially change change the outcome of the play. In the process of the forum theatre, as during the workshops, the actors and audience engage with the director (or 'joker') to extend the understanding of the characters and relationships beyond the play, providing the space for a deeper investigation into human motivations and expected outcomes. This provides a profound opportunity for audience members, actors and the broader community to arrive at a new understanding of local circumstances and influences, and to make significant cultural shifts both personally and in their community.

Details about the activities

Our workshops use a theatre modality called Theatre for Living, developed by David Diamond from Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. The following information about activities offered has been copied from his website Theatre for Living, where more information about the work being done by David Diamond can be seen. We offer all the workshop formats outline by David with the exception of the facilitator training, and wish to thank and acknowledge him for his brilliant and dedicated work and for his generosity in making the information available for our use.

Image Theatre
(1 - 3 days)

Image Theatre uses image-making to help the group analyze where solutions exist and ways to manifest them. This workshop will not go to public performance, but will use the games and exercises of Theatre for Living to explore moments of struggle out of workshop participants' lives. The depth of exploration depends on the duration of the workshop and the willingness of the group. Especially in instances where there is not enough time or interest for performance, an Image Theatre workshop is a good way to introduce a community to Theatre for Living.

Rainbow of Desire

(three hour conference or one day)

This is a one-day workshop but can also run as a half-day workshop with 30 or more participants who each take on a role of fears and desires.

After a half-day of warm ups and group building work, the Rainbow of Desire explores our own internal voices that complicate our relationships with other people and stop us from achieving our goals. This series of transformative techniques allows us to see how we contain many different desires and fears at any one time... The particular relationship offered becomes a symbol for the entire workshop group to investigate blockages around a certain issue. By learning to identify these internal voices, we begin the process of understanding ourselves and each other. We learn how to navigate multi-layered moments in complex relationships. Both 'sides' of a conflict are honoured in order to get beyond symptoms (the fact that a conflict is occurring) and into root causes. 

 

Cops in the Head - and their Anti-bodies
(three hour conference or one day)

As a one-day workshop, after a half-day of group building work, Cops in the Head addresses those internal voices that have embedded themselves in our psyche. It is not always external forces that we struggle against - sometimes internalized voices that originate from other people are equally powerful. Cops in the Head are the voices of people who put up stop-signs and say, "you can’t do that", "you're stupid", "no good" etc. People who have somehow blocked us and over time have taken up residence inside us, affecting the way each of us listens, sees and acts. This workshop helps participants and living communities identify these voices and liberate themselves in a creative and entertaining way.

Corporations in Our Heads
(three hour event or one day)

This technique was developed from Cops in the Head, but operates at a very different level. How have the messages of corporations invaded and colonized our collective psyche? How do these messages affect our relationships with ourselves, each other and the planet? Can we use the theatre to change our relationships to these messages in order to lead healthier and more sustainable lives – building healthier and more sustainable communities?

Your Wildest Dream
(2 - 3 days)

This innovative community visioning technique uses Image Theatre and Polaroid photos. Each day starts with group building work.

 

Day 1 focuses on how the community may manifest dysfunction. What does this look like? A distilled image of the dysfunctional community is photographed and put on the wall. Day 2 distills the wildest dream of the community. What does this look like? This image is photographed and put on the wall, far away from the first image. Now the group creates images that exist somewhere between the image of dysfunction and the dream. Each image is photographed and then a discussion ensues about where it fits between the first two images. A natural analysis takes place; as images move around, the symbolic journey of both the living community and the individual participants becomes apparent. The community is then left with this highly symbolic "map" that leads from the image of dysfunction to the wildest dream.

Power Play including Forum Theatre
(6 days)

A Power Play incorporates Image Theatre and either Rainbow of Desire or Cops in the Head and play creation to explore issues and create community-specific theatre. The product is an audience-interactive Forum Theatre event.

 

Through various theatre games and exercises a POWER PLAY builds trust and understanding within the workshop group. To a large extent these games and exercises are non-verbal. Using Image Theatre, we ask participants to look into moments of struggle in their own lives. Having asked the community-based sponsor organization to pre-determine general subject matter (violence, racism, gender roles, etc.), the participants make their play(s) about issues they have identified as most important to them and their community, within the subject matter under investigation.

 

We do not define the content for the participants; they are the experts in their own lives. We provide investigative theatre tools and help them make the clearest and most theatrically effective plays possible. The participants do the work, empowering themselves and finding both an individual and group voice in the process - often identifying issues that restrict the development of both themselves as individuals and the living community.

 

Participants also learn some basic acting skills for the Forum Theatre (audience interactive) event which takes place at the end of the workshop.

 

Forum Theatre is a unique type of participatory theatre. The plays that develop out of the six-day process are usually quite short, perhaps 3 - 5 minutes in duration. A play is performed once, all the way through, so the audience can see the situation and the problems presented. The play builds to a crisis and stops there, offering no solutions. The play is then performed again, with audience members able to "freeze" the action at any point where they see a character struggling with a problem. An audience member yells "stop!", comes into the playing area, replaces the character s/he recognizes is in a moment of struggle, and tries out his/her idea. We call this an 'intervention'. The Forum Theatre event is vibrant and empowering for all concerned. From a group of 20 participants there will usually be 3 short plays. The entire community event is, ideally, 2 - 2.5 hours long.

Please contact us for information about specific activities 

0418 753 867

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