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Therapeutic Theatre: An Introduction to The Rainbow of Desire

Date: Fri. March 23rd, 2018, 12:30 pm-2:30 pm
Location: CWRU, Crawford Hall Room A13, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106

In the mid-20th century, Brazilian activist, politician, and theatre artist Augusto Boal created The Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) as a way to examine and overturn sociopolitical oppressions – colonialism, poverty, sexism, racism, etc. TO uses theatre exercises, games, and performances to democratically and communally tell stories of oppression and search for ways to bring about justice, equity, and liberation for all. Rainbow of Desire applies TO techniques to identify, analyze, and respond to “internalized oppressions;” it is often seen as the “therapeutic” branch of TO; participants can uncover the origins of their internal conflicts, break down their responses to oppressions, and create paths forward. This session will introduce participants to Rainbow techniques and theories.

Some of the theories and techniques to be explored are:

  • Image Theatre – creating images with our most basic theatrical tool – the body – to potently express thoughts, ideas, and emotions
  • The Circle of Masks and Rituals – exploring the many “masks” we use in life
  • The Rainbow of Desire – identifying and analyzing our multiple (sometimes conflicting) feelings and desires when encountering oppression

Participants should wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to move around and “play.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and is free and open to the pubic.

Registration required.  

About the Speaker:

Katherine BurkeKatherine Burke is a multidisciplinary artist, teacher, and activist.  Her work in health humanities at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine engages Cleveland residents, medical students, health care workers, and physicians in an ongoing examination of health and well-being in Cleveland. As the directing and devising force behind the acclaimed verbatim play May 4th Voices, she brought to life the oral histories of witnesses to the 1970 shootings at Kent State University. An activist who uses Theatre of the Oppressed and other arts-based techniques to foster dialogue and inspire action, Burke is a past president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc., and has taught and implemented applied theatre for social change methods nationally and internationally.



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