©2019 by Omari Soulfinger.

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        Theatre of the Oppressed is a methodology created in the 1970s by the legendary Brazilian theatre director and activist Augusto Boal, who was himself inspired by Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. As a form of activism and artistic practice, Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed is now used in over 70 countries around the world.  As a "Joker" and troupe coordinator with Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, Omari has worked with various communities and populations experiencing marginalization to devise interactive plays** inspired by their real-life problems, all with the intention of engaging their peers in theatrical problem-solving which can help inspire concrete social action.

 

      **In Forum Theatre, the actors present an original play chronicling an unresolved problem resulting from systemic oppression. Once the play is finished, the audience is invited to step into the play and share possible ways to attack this problem and respond to the antagonists, in what’s known as an intervention. The actors in the play are prepared to respond to the audience member, known now as a Spect-Actor. This process of play performance and interventions is facilitated by a Joker. The goal is to engage in various problem-solving strategies that the community can use to fight back against the oppressions they face.