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TOPLAB SUMMER 2016 EVENTS

"I believe that all the truly revolutionary theatrical groups should transfer to the people the means of production in the theater so that the people themselves may utilize them. The theater is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it. —Augusto Boal

Sunday, July 10 ​to Friday, July 15​:
Little Rock, Arkansas

Civil Rights Educator Institute

facilitated by Gail Burton and Kayhan Irani

at The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
1500 Park Street
Little Rock, Arkansas

This workshop is part of a design laboratory for social engagement that provides a space for pedagogical experimentation, and inquiry into issues related to human rights and education for liberation using popular education approaches and narrative strategies as tools to explore civil rights history and human rights struggles. Using place-based learning participants will visit two civil rights historic sites—Little Rock Central High School and the World War II Rohwer Japanese American Internment Camp—and engage with interpretive, narrative approaches to teaching and learning. Participants will critically engage with issues of rights, struggle, story, and power and introduce new ways of connecting past to present.

More information at https://www.nps.gov/chsc/learn/education/summer-teacher-institute.htm



Friday, July 15 (1:00 pm to 4:00 pm):
Brooklyn, New York

Workshop: Looking at Class Consciousness, Class Struggle and Self-Organizing Using Image Theater (short version)

facilitated by Janet Gerson and Marie-Claire Picher

at The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

This workshop is being presented as part of the four-day Marxist Summer Intensive 2016, organized by the Marxist Education Project.

This workshop will use Image Theater—a basic Theater of the Oppressed technique—to look at class, how it affects us collectively, and how awareness and consciousness of one's place and role in class society can be used as a tool for mobilizing and organizing people and communities to fight for social justice, economic equality and a world where wealth is shared by all, for the benefit of all, and not owned by a small clique of capitalists who have appropriated it for their own use.

Drawing on the theories of popular education developed by his friend and colleague, Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal (1931-2009), who created and founded the methodology called Theater of the Oppressed, appropriated theater games and exercises for use as organizing tools by communities in struggle. These tools are designed to develop individual skills of observation and self-reflection, and cooperative group interactions. Image Theater is the ideal starting point for training in Theater of the Oppressed techniques. In Image Theater, leadership- and consensus-building games and techniques are used to explore relations of power and group solutions to concrete problems of oppression through "living body imagery". Discussions begin to take place through the language of images, offering a fresh approach to power analysis and new opportunities for the exchange of ideas.

More information at http://marxedproject.org/event/marxist-summer-intensive-july-14-17 and http://thecommonsbrooklyn.org/intensive-schedule-2016


Wednesday, July 20 to Monday, July 25:
Dakar, Senegal

The Twelfth Senegalese Forum Theater Festival

facilitated by Gail Burton and Mouhamadou Diol

at the Kàddu Yaraax Association
Yarakh, Hann Commune
Dakar, Senegal

At this Festival, Forum Theater will be used to understand the importance of creating and establishing avenues of dialogue as a means to examine realistic alternative solutions to social problems. The Festival is organized around the theme Beneen Yoon ("Another World Is Possible"). During the event, much emphasis will be given to the use of Forum Theater as an approach to mediation, examining it as a powerful tool for creating dialogue and building social harmony. Kàddu Yaraax is an arts-based community organization in Dakar's Yarakh neighborhood. It works to organize and mobilize communities struggling against oppression through both research and educational activities, as well as social interventions, including the use of Forum Theater.

More information at http://kadduyaraax.jimdo.com

Saturday, July 30 (10:00 am to 6:00 pm):
New York City

Workshop: Looking at Class Consciousness, Class Struggle and Self-Organizing Using Image Theater (long version)

facilitated by Janet Gerson and Marie-Claire Picher

at The Clemente Center/The Fantastic Experimental Latino Theater (FELT)
107 Suffolk Street, room 311
New York City

​See the description under the July 15 entry above.

More information from toplabnyc@gmail.com

Thursday, September 1 to Saturday, September 3:
Liverpool, England

Rediscovering the Radical: Theatre and Social Change

TOPLAB workshop: Organizing Our Power

facilitated by Marie-Claire Picher

at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
Mount Street
Liverpool, England

​This workshop, facilitated by TOPLAB co-founder Marie-Claire Picher and presented as part of the Rediscovering the Radical conference, will introduce practitioners to some of the basic Image Theater games to explore issues surrounding self-organizing and community building. In Image Theater, the body is used to create images that help participants explore power relations and group solutions to concrete problems. Games and exercises are designed to develop individual skills of observation and self-reflection, and cooperative group interactions. The workshop is contextualized within TOPLAB’s activities in various communities, which seek to build solidarity and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for social justice and change.

Rediscovering the Radical is an international conference exploring how theater can contribute to radical social and political change in the twenty-first century. Hosted by Collective Encounters and the Department of Applied Theatre at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in conjunction with Unity Theatre, Rediscovering the Radical will be an inspirational and agitational weekend of international performances, papers, workshops and discussion. RtR was imagined in response to the wide-scale depoliticization of community arts; and the absorption of participatory arts into the service of neo-liberal social inclusion agendas. Its hope is to bring together a diverse mix of passionate change-makers to learn from and share with each other. The focus for the conference is activism, artistic practice and academic thinking. The kinds of contributions will include, but not be limited to, performances, workshops, performance lectures, academic papers, agitations, provocations and case studies.

More information at http://rediscoveringtheradical.org.uk

"We must emphasize: What Brecht does not want is that the spectators continue to leave their brains with their hats upon entering the theater, as do bourgeois spectators." —Augusto Boal

Fall 2016 Events

• TOPLAB's monthly intensive one- and two-day workshops resume; details to come

• First Wednesdays: Theater of the Oppressed for Poets, Artists and Dreamers—short, three-hour introductory workshops on the techniques of the Theater of the Oppressed; resumes on Wednesday, ​December 7 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm; at The Clemente Center/The Fantastic Experimental Latino Theater (FELT)
; 107 Suffolk Street, room 311, New York City; details to come

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point is to change it." —Karl Marx