Theatrical workshop for change

handsIn 1971, Augusto Boal started what he called Newspaper Theatre to theatrically deal with current social issues in Brazil.  The concept soon blossomed into a tree of theatrical techniques including Forum Theatre and Image Theatre called Theatre of the Oppressed.  The concept soon spread to other countries in South America and eventually around the world.

Inspired by this model, Canadian teacher Jessica Bleuer hopes to use this model to help people with theatre skills supplement their salaries by finding non-theatre gigs while creating meaningful social changes in their communities.  In this vein, she is giving an intensive workshop called Making Theatre Work For Change this weekend in Montreal.

She has been offering this concept as a course to students at the University of Toronto since 2004 and has facilitated theatre for change workshops in various community centres, high schools, universities and peace camps around the world including places like Northern Ireland, South Korea and Argentina.

She hopes to show how theatre-of-the-oppressed techniques and narrative theatre skills can be used to educate, create public awareness or public dialogue on various issues, mediate conflict and create meaningful social change.

This weekend’s Montreal edition costs $150 to participate and runs tonight from 6-9pm, tomorrow from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 9am to 1pm with an optional showcasing of skills from 5:30-9pm.  Please contact to get involved.

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