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Riot art final copy

  1. 1. Getting Inspired for Educational Change Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114
  2. 2. ContentsChapter Page Contents Page ................................................................................ 21. Riot Art: A new Project ................................................................. 32. R.A’s Inspirations ........................................................................... 43. Riot Art Theatre ............................................................................. 54. Riot Art and Theatre of the Oppressed ......................................... 65. Riot Art Student Worksop .............................................................. 8 • Introduction ...................................................................................................... 9 • Warm Ups ......................................................................................................... 10 • Core Exercises: Power Numbers (Status Game) ................................................ 11 • Core Exercises: Where Do I Stand? (Debate Exercise) ...................................... 14 • Core Exercises: Image of the Oppressed ............................................................ 16 • Reflection, Feedback and Conclusion ................................................................ 19 References ..................................................................................... 21 Bibliography .................................................................................. 23 Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 2
  3. 3. Riot Art: A new Project• Riot Art is a new inspirational project aiming to create original theatre pieces. These are motivated by the current atmosphere of change that the British Higher Education system is undergoing. Its objective is to unite the Educational community through the development and devising of one or more artistic “riots”. These will be performed in public venues across the country, from University campuses to local libraries and even the City’s streets. These Art Riots will enable participants to get their voices across in a pacific and creative manner, engaging with diverse public members through the aesthetics of theatre. This will allow them to exercise a new style of protest in the form of artistic communication.• The project develops workshops over a series of four weeks and allows any person that is connected to the University sector to be involved. These workshops will encourage an atmosphere of debate in which its participants will exercise their creativity collectively. This will be achieved through contrasting ideas and collaborating with peers. It will construct a new alternative to communication. Its only requisite is that the members are open and willing to create.• The process will be divided in three separate stages: 1) Through the first two weeks the participants will be arranged and assigned to different workshops. This will be depending on their background and their role in the educational system, i.e. Students, Union Members and Staff. The workshops will be designed according to the specific group taking part. 2) The second stage will consist on the exchange of products and the collaboration between the members of different groups, over the last two weeks. 3) Finally, the third stage will consist on the exhibition of the outcome as well as the completion of other forms of communication, such as videos and photographs to be displayed in social networks, i.e. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 3
  4. 4. R.A.’s InspirationThe project is inspired by different factors:• Political theatre movements that somehow seem to be gradually disappearing from the public eye, such as Bertold Brecht’s Agitprop and Augusto Boal’s Theatre of The Oppressed. Just like these movements Riot Art wants to “awaken” British society to a new form of communicative dialogue between two or more parties. In this particular case: those benefitting from U.K.’s Higher Education System, the British Government and the country’s general public.• A current social state of uncertainty and disturbance, generated by the current climate of economic crisis that is presently affecting UK’s Higher Education system. This is particularly affecting Universities across England as a result of the Government’s decision to make cuts of 35% to their funding over four years. Being described as “the biggest loss of resources since the 1930’s cutbacks” (Clark, L. 2010), the situation has spurred students, employees and unions from the University sector to organise multiple protests throughout the country in order to express their discontent.• A need to commence challenging the existing conformities when exposing social issues. By introducing the arts as a tool for communication between individuals and communities, society embraces the benefits of aesthetic experience. This is described by Sir Ken Robinson as “the moment when your senses are operating at their peak “(RSA. Animates, 2010). Thus it will facilitate better understanding between different parties. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 4
  5. 5. Riot Art TheatreRiot Art focuses on theatre practice because:• According to Matarasso’s Use or Ornament? The social Impact of participation in the arts (1997),some of its benefits are:1. Personal growth and development.2. Social cohesion.3. Community empowerment.4. Local image and identity.5. Imagination and vision.6. Health and well being.• Riot Art aims to tick off all the boxes throughout workshops and performances,bringing all of these benefits to their members through games, debates, performances andexercising collective creativity.• As explained in Stern’s School and Community Theatre Management: A Handbook forSurvival (1979): “In drama more than any other subject, students find the opportunity to develop and apply problem-solving techniques...Studying the problems faced by the characters, the students learn to define them. They become aware of causes and solutions, seeing the interaction of the character traits (personality) and the problem.”(Stern, L. p.4)• Thus it is beneficial to observe and explore issues dramatically in order to find multiplesolutions to the problem. He also states: “When students enact a role, they must evaluate the ideas of the character. Concepts and values-honour, love, honesty, loyalty, etc. Producing a play thrusts them into a social framework, each dependent on another. There is an explicit order, and all participants quickly realize that they are responsible to others and that others are responsible to them. They learn to use, control, and inhibit their own creativity so that they can contribute to the whole production, a process that is basic to democratic society”(Stern, L. p.5) Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 5
  6. 6. Riot Art Theatre of the Oppressed• Riot Art’s objective is the exploration and resolution of a problem. Therefore, it is interconnected with the Theatre of The Oppressed method and its purpose, which is described by The New York’s Theatre of The Oppressed Laboratory as: “A form of popular theatre, of, by, and for people engaged in the struggle for liberation... Theatre of the Oppressed is a participatory theatre that fosters democratic and cooperative forms of interaction among participants. Theatre is emphasized not as a spectacle but rather as a language designed to: 1) analyze and discuss problems of oppression and power; and 2) explore group solutions to these problems. This language is accessible to all.” (Pitcher, M, 1990)• Riot Art does not seek to create Forum Theatre pieces, nor aims to include “spect-actors” in their final performances. However it certainly includes Theatre of the Oppressed principles in the development of its devised pieces. Only that way, the product will be true to the idea of awakening to new perspectives, by exploring solutions through the creation of dialogue between parties: “In the Theater of the Oppressed, oppression is defined, in part, as a power dynamic based on monologue rather than dialogue; a relation of domination and command that prohibits the oppressed from being who they are and from exercising their basic human rights.” (Pitcher, M. 1990)• Therefore the workshops’ design will focus mostly on Boal’s devising techniques. Most games and exercises will be extracted from Augusto Boal’s Arsenal found in Games for Actors and Non Actors (1992). Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 6
  7. 7. Student Workshop session 1 (two hours) Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114
  8. 8. Riot Art Student WorkshopsAims and Objectives:• To devise one or more theatrical pieces (“riots”) as a new form of communication over a period of four weeks. These will focus on the participant’s personal experiences and beliefs about educational rights.• To unite students and create a sense of community through a process of sharing and debate.• To empower the educational community by exploring issues and finding multiple solutions to the challenges brought up by the current financial crisis, focusing particularly on Theatre of The Oppressed techniques such as Forum Theatre and Image Work.• To exercise the participant’s creativity and diverge thinking in order to free negativity and any sense of impotence.• To walk toward the creation of a dialogue that offers multiple possible solutions to the problem oppressing them.• To increase confidence in communicative skills through artistic creation.• To offer support and encourage a trusting atmosphere to exercise self expression.Target Group:• A group of 10 to 20 students currently coursing first and/or second year of different Bachelors Degrees per workshop. This includes a wide age range of approximately 18 to 30 years old.Location:• Cooperative University’s campuses taking part on Riot Art Projects. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 8
  9. 9. Riot Art Student WorkshopsIntroduction Approximately 10 min.Riot Art Student Workshop. Session 1. (2 hrs.)Note: Prior to the first workshop, information on Riot Art Project will be sent electronically to those participants who have been invited to take part. This will allow them to feel prepared and comfortable when arriving to the first session, knowing what is expected of them.The first Riot Art workshop aimed at University students. It will serve part as research for thefacilitator and simultaneously be informative to the participants.The first ten minutes after the participants arrival will consist of a clear description of the projectabout to commence with information on:1. Aims2. Objectives3. PrinciplesThe facilitator will enable participants to make themselves comfortable in the room and ask anyrelevant questions about the project the points previously assessed.During the introduction there will be a few minutes to introduce each member of the group, with ashort explanation of their name, age, background and reason for choosing to get involved.Note: The facilitator will ask the participants to sit on a chair and form a circle when entering the room in order to link the introduction with the first game of the session (see next page). Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 9
  10. 10. Riot Art Student WorkshopsWarm Ups Approximately 15 min.“Anyone Who...” (5 to 8min) “Anyone who...” variation. (5 to 8 min)1. One person stands in the middle and shouts 1. The game rules stay the same but this time the out “Anyone who...” followed by any statement facilitator will shout out “Anyone who...” follow he/she chooses to use. I.e.: “Anyone who... had by statements relevant to the topics of breakfast this morning!” oppression to be explored in the first session:2. The participants who find the statement true to i.e. The student’s frustration generated by the them, must then stand up and swap chair with cutbacks. The chair removed at the beginning any other participant. will be included in the circle again.3. As one chair has previously been removed from These statements might be: the circle, someone will always be left in the centre. This person then must shout another “Anyone who... Is concerned about their academic statement in order to gain their position back in future”. the circle of chairs. “Anyone who... Feels supported by the Government as4. The game concludes when all or most of the a student”. participants have been in the middle at least once. “Anyone who... Is anxious about the impact economical crisis in their daily lives”.Objectives:• To get the participants bodies warmed up. Objectives:• To exercise spontaneity by getting their minds • To prepare the participants for the topics to be perform fast. addressed throughout the session.• To exercise their communication and listening • To enable self expression and freedom to skills. convey their opinions through movement.• To create a fun environment in which • To keep their bodies and minds engaged. participants feel relaxed and playful. 10 Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114
  11. 11. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 1 Approximately 30 min.The Power Numbers (Status Game)This exercise is a combination of some of the Theatre techniques and games found in AugustoBoal’s Games for Actors and non Actors (1992).Stage 11. The facilitator asks the participants to think of a number between 1 and 10. Once the participants have chosen, they are asked to keep it secret and start walking around the room. The facilitator gives instructions to use all the space and makes sure they are working with the right energy.2. The facilitator will then ask the participants to stop and will explain that the numbers they have chosen are equivalent to a power scale: 1 being poorly powerful and 10 being fully empowered.3. The participants will then be invited to walk around the room and portray in their manners the number they have chosen. After a few minutes the participants will be asked to follow some directions: i.e. Think of the type of person you could be with this amount of power, perform a gesture this person may do quite often, make a noise this person might produce and finally think of a short sentence this character might say.4. Once all the participants have constructed a rough character, the facilitator will ask them to reflect on what role this character may have in educational system, i.e. A student, a teacher, a University’s member of staff or a politician.5. During the next stage the participants will be divided in two groups and will be asked to interact for a few minutes with the members of their group non-verbally. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 11
  12. 12. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 1 Cont.Stage 21. The facilitator will then stop the participants and ask them how they felt and what they have found during the exercise. Questions on how the attitude of other characters toward will be aroused and each member should be encouraged to give their own opinion.2. The participants will then be invited to discuss in their groups what type of characters they had created and how they feel they are relevant to the topics being explored in the project.3. Stage two then will follow by the creation of two different improvisations by the two groups. The facilitator will ask the groups to discuss a time and location where all the characters may find themselves and some conflicts they may find.4. Once the two groups have developed a short scene (should not be longer than 1min approx.), the facilitator will arrange one group as audience to watch the first improvisation. Once this is finished the facilitator will encourage the audience to express their opinions and describe the experience of watching the conflict. Some of the questions asked may be: Who do you think these people were? Did you think there were any conflicts between them? Where were they? What did they want? Once everyone is satisfied with the opinions and ideas expressed, the other group will be asked to take their space and perform their improvisation. The process of Q&A will repeat itself with the new audience members.5. Finally if the time schedule allows it, the facilitator may explore one of the scenes in more depth, asking the actors to include verbal communication, an objective, a protagonist or other elements. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 12
  13. 13. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 1 Cont.Objectives:The main objectives of this core exercise are the following:• To observe personal status from a practical perspective.• To challenge assumptions and judgements.• To explore possible conflicts in order to find solutions through future exercises.• To exercise their creativity.• To get their imaginations and spontaneity working.• To encourage freedom of expression in their viewpoints.• To exercise team work skills.• To increase listening skills.Time Limit: 40 minutesNote: When the exercise is finished, the facilitator may decide to take a few minutes to ask the participants how they feel, allowing them to take a few minutes to have a drink of water or use the toilet facilities if needed. This will allow the participants to feel comfortable and prepared to carry on with the workshop. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 13
  14. 14. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 2 Approximately 20 min.Where Do I Stand? (Debate Exercise)Stage 1For the next exercise the facilitator will ask the participants to choose a space in the room to stand.Once they are ready, the facilitator will explain the content of the game. The game follows simplerules:1. Firstly the facilitator will label one corner of the room as “Strongly Agree” and the opposite corner as “Strongly Disagree”. In order to avoid confusion, the facilitator may choose to put up a sheet of paper on each wall to remind the participants through the game. He will also mark the centre of the room, using for example a chair.2. The facilitator will then read or shout out statements similar to the ones used in the previous game “Anyone who...”, only that this time some of these statements will be extracted from past articles that are focusing on the education financial crisis, i.e.: “The Lib Dem Party has let down voters” (Barnett, R. 2010)3. Once the facilitator is confident that the statement has been understood, the students will be asked to arrange themselves in the room. So the ones that “Strongly Disagree” should position themselves on the specified corner, the “Unsure” participants should position themselves around the middle area of the room and the students that “Strongly Agree” should move to the opposite corner.4. When the participants have arranged themselves around the room according to their opinions, the debate begins. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 14
  15. 15. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 2 Cont.Stage 2The facilitator will then aim to spur the participants into a debate. Most of the statements chosen should show diverse opinions and tackle current sensitive issues that trigger explicit strong emotions in the participants, so that they are willing to debate and explore them. The facilitator’s goals will be:1. To get the participants expressing their viewpoints.2. To stimulate the participants to confront differences between each other.3. To get the disagreeing participants to convince each other to change position around the room by exposing a clear argument and opinion.Objectives:1. To encourage self expression.2. To challenge conformities.3. To exercise listening and communication skills.4. To learn to confront opinions through a well structured argument.Time Limit: 30 minutesNote: This exercise should be handled with care, making sure it is understood that the objective is not to confront each other yet to see each other’s perspectives. At no point any member should intend to offend their peers in any way and the debate must be well mediated by the facilitator. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 15
  16. 16. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 3 Approximately 30 min.Image of the OppressedStage 1This exercise is a combination of Augusto Boal’s Image Theatre and Forum Theatre techniques. It can be accessed in Games for Actors and Non-Actors (1999)• The participants are divided in two groups, then they are asked to discuss the oppressions they feel as a result of the Government’s decision to increase University’s tuition fees. They are asked to debate the challenges they and future potential students will have to face when the measurements are taking into action.• Once they have chosen a common concern they are asked to create a common image that depicts their chosen oppression.• When both the groups are ready, the facilitator will ask one of them to form their image. The audience group will be encouraged to “walk the image” in order to see it from as many perspectives as possible. When all the participants have taken a good look the facilitator will ask them what they perceive from the image being observed: What is the situation? Who is the person being affected the most? Who is oppressed and who or what is oppressing them? When the audience members have finished expressing themselves, the facilitator will invite the group forming the image to illustrate the others in what it meant to them.• The process then repeats with the next group.• The facilitator will then decide an image to be explored. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 16
  17. 17. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 3 Cont.Stage 2The group whose image has been chosen creates the tableaux again. Then the audience members are asked a few questions:1. What is the conflict?2. Who is the protagonist/oppressed?3. Who is the antagonist/oppressor?4. What are the protagonist’s objectives?5. What is the oppressor doing to stop the protagonist from getting what she/he wants?Once a decision has been reached the participants are asked whether this seems a true situation to them: Is it real? If the participants agree then the workshop will carry on exploring this image. If not the other group will be asked to form their image and will proceed to be explored.Stage 31. The participants who have taken part in the still image will be invited to step down and the facilitator will ask for two volunteers to take on the roles of the protagonist and the antagonist.2. The two volunteers will be asked to act out a small improvisation in which the conflict is being depicted. When the facilitator considers it sufficient, the action is stopped. The audience will then be asked to offer manners for the protagonist to overcome the obstacles created by the oppressor. The actors will act the different solutions out. This should continue until at least one of the solutions has achieved its goal. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 17
  18. 18. Riot Art Student WorkshopsCore Exercises 3 Cont.Objectives:• This exercise should enable the group to experience a sense of collaborative investigation in search of possible solutions to a problem that is relevant to their current lives.• The participants are enabled to once again express their thoughts and opinions freely in a safe and trusting environment.• The students will exercise diverge thinking and creativity. These will become useful tools when creating the artistic riots in the second stage of Riot Art Project.• The participants will keep developing their listening and communication skills through the exposition of their own ideas to other peers.• The group will be united through the achievement of one or more solution to problems that are relevant to all the members.• By this point of the session the participants will feel empowered as a group and capable to create new solutions in the process toward creating a new form of communication through artistic dialogue.• The exercise will work on their imaginations and open up a new perspective about forms of self expression.Time Limit: 40 minutes. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 18
  19. 19. Riot Art Student WorkshopsReflection, Feedback and ConclusionReflection:The facilitator will ask the participants to make themselves comfortable somewhere in the room.The facilitator will then ask the participants questions relevant to the topics of the workshop.I.e. What do you think we achieved by looking at your thoughts/ideas today? Have we explored something new? Have you gained any new perspectives? Have you reinforced your opinion on the topics explored?The students will also be encouraged to ask questions or simply reflect on the day’s work andachievements, being able to express both strengths and weaknesses relevant to the workshop.FeedbackThe facilitator will then ask the participants questions about their well being during the session.I.e. Have you felt comfortable during the exercises? Did you feel listened to and supported when expressing yourself? Did you feel welcome and invited to take part? Did you have fun?Again, the students will always be welcome to address any questions or ideas the facilitator is notsuggesting.ConclusionFinally the facilitator will thank the participants for their contributions and will hand out/explaininformation about next session (time, location, requirements, etc.). If there are no more questions,the facilitator will then bring closure to the session. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 19
  20. 20. ReferencesAndrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114
  21. 21. References• Clark, L. (2010). University cuts mean students pay more for less. [Online]. August 2010. Available from: finance/article.html?in_article_id=511926&in_page_id=52 [Accessed 30th November, 2010]• RSA Animates. (2010). Changing Education Paradigms. [Online Video]. October 14th. Available from: [Accessed: November 2010]• Stern, L. (1979). School and Community Theatre Management. A Handbook for Survival. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon Inc.• Matarasso, F. (1997). Use or Ornament? The Social Impact of Participation in the Arts. [Online] 2003. Available from: 0or%20Ornament.pdf [Accessed 30th November, 2010]• Pitcher, M. (1990). What is The Theatre of The Oppressed. [Online]. January 1990. Available from: [Accessed 30th November, 2010]• Barnett, R. (2010). Higher Fees: The Case For and Against. [Online]. November 24th. Available from: Against-Putting-Tuition-Fees- Up/Article/201011415827330?lpos=Politics_First_Politics_Feature_Teaser_Region__0&lid=ARTICL E_15827330_University_Fees_Explained%3A_The_Case_For_And_Against_Putting_Tuition_Fees_ Up [Accessed: 30th November 2010] Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 21
  22. 22. BibliographyAndrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114
  23. 23. Bibliography• Boal, A. (1992). Games for Actors and Non-Actors. Second Edition (2002). Oxon: Routeledge.• Boal, A. (1979). Theatre of the Oppressed. Third Edition (2008). London: Pluto Press.• Johnston, K. (1981). Impro. London: Methuen Drama.• Matarasso, F. (1997). Use or Ornament? The Social Impact of Participation in the Arts. [Online] 2003. Available from: 0or%20Ornament.pdf [Accessed 30th November, 2010]• Neelands, J. & Goode, T. (1990). Structuring Drama Work. Second Edition (2000). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.• Robinson, K. (2009). The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. London: Penguin Books.• Stern, L. (1979). School and Community Theatre Management. A Handbook for Survival. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon Inc.• Van Erven, E. (2001). Community Theatre Global Perspectives. London: Routeledge. Andrea De La Cruz Barral 09007114 23