Newspaper Theatre

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The newspaper theatre is another technique of the theatre of the oppressed by Augusto Boal. The basis are newspaper articles, headlines but also books, speeches etc. The scene is created with the help of news and reports. To start the participants get to know different reading methods so that they can then try to understand the origin and background of the news.


[edit] In short

  • 20 people
  • 2 hours
  • seminarroom, a couple of small rooms, newspaper articles, texts

[edit] Carrying out

1. The participants chose the news they want to work on. [15 minutes]

2. In small groups the participants practice different reading methods. They should chose only some of them in order to practice and intensify them. [30 minutes]

3. The participants then develop a scene regarding one information and play it in the plenum. [45 minutes]

4. In a discussion the participants speak about the topic and about the feelings of actors and audience. [30 minutes]

[edit] Techniques of the newspaper theatre

[edit] Simple reading

The news is read without any further comments.

[edit] Completed and reading

The news is read and one part is added. For example: The news: "Those who love liberty, chose Stroessner" (presidential candidate of Brazil) is completed with "... if not the police will catch them!".

[edit] Connected reading

News from different articles are read. They contradict each other and disagree on the topic.

[edit] Rhythmical reading

By reading a text in a rhythmical way different associations are created. For example: Read a political speech with the rhythm of a march, a tango or a waltz.

[edit] Added reading

Similar to the added reading the news are completed. This time with commercial and advertisement of politicians in the election campaign.

[edit] Mimed reading

By creating a big gap between content (text) and presentation the news are caricatured. For example: A speech of the Secretary of Commerce about the serious situation the country is facing. The actor is sitting at a table with a lot of food on it.

[edit] Improvisation

As an alternative to the mimed reading the scene is acted.

[edit] Historical reading

The news are related to similar historical events. The idea is to think about the historic alternatives in order to learn from them.

[edit] Defining

The worn out and often used vocabulary of news and headlines often covers the actual information and reduces its meaningfulness. The news are acted so that the actual meaning can be seen again.

[edit] Emphasized reading

News are commented with other information that are related but which are not printed. For example: News about the state funeral of a killed admiral with detailed description of the mourning of the guests. News about the funeral of a child in a slum and about the parents that have to buy their mournings in a second-hand-shop.

[edit] Context reading

Some souped-up reports only talk about specific details as headlines and do not mention the actual facts. By acting the scene after having read out the news this information are given to the audience.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Augusto Boal, 1989
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