Friday, 21 October 2016

The Common Air Project Programmes:

Touch Tag Interactive Theatre

Celebratory Community Theatre Performances

1 Touch Tag Theatre [based on Augusto Boal’s Forum Theatre].  CAP  facilitates interactive theatre workshops as a means to examine current behaviour and practice around a variety of topics including conflict resolution, human rights and gender equality.  Touch Tag Theatre aims to try out different approaches/ behaviour changes in these areas (some practitioners refer to it as ‘rehearsing for life’).  Interactive theatre workshops enables participants to bring about changes in their behaviour not only through words and their content, but also through changes in their body, voice or use of space which may allow positive change to occur.  This results in a positive and fun way of transforming behaviour.  

Institutional understanding of power relationships has led to an extension of Interactive Theatre - ‘Legislative Theatre’ - where collective and systemic behaviour is explored. This allows for change to be catalysed and a platform for the advocacy of rights created. This is particularly pertinent in contexts where the absence of law is continuing to ensure injustice or where laws are created to suppress action. Working beyond issue awareness and community building, Legislative Theatre allows the community participants to create bills to address the oppression they face. Policy-makers can be invited to attend, participate and then advise on the next steps of law-making.

Celebratory Community Theatre Performances Participants and audience celebrate the variety of cultures that exist within a country and the similarities & differences of those cultures through theatre performances.  The Celebratory Community Theatre Performance utilizes poets and writers to dramatize age-old morality tales, stories and myths as a bridge for positive cross cultural exchanges as well as to teach the younger generation of children their oral history.  As an example of the work, in 2014, this project culminated in a schools touring performance of a play based on a South African book, The Story Magic, by Dr Gcina Mhlophe. South African students presented a bare-bones version of the play.  Once that performance was finished, they incorporated the school’s students to create a whole new piece of theatre utilizing Mhlphoe’s beautifully created animal characters and scenarios.  This sort of work relies more on physical expression than vocal expression as is of use when dealing with a variety of verbal languages.  This programme can also lead to creative writing workshops where participants create new tales, stories and myths.

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