Rainbow of Desire Workshop Series

This is a notice about past events. For information on upcoming events, click here.

7 Mondays • November 7-December 19 • 7:30-9:30 p.m.
at Studio 34 • 4522 Baltimore Ave • West Philadelphia
New workshop series coming in 2012—stay tuned...

THE RAINBOW OF DESIRE is a family of theatrical techniques developed by Augusto Boal, founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed. Called "the Boal method of theatre and therapy," the Rainbow of Desire replays situations from our everyday lives and reveals invisible elements of our relationships, such as emotions, mental obstacles (a.k.a. "Cops in the Head") and desires that may be of hindrance or of help. Each session begins with theatrical games that develop a theatrical vocabulary and build group dynamics, then we move into sharing stories and choosing one to be acted out. From here, the Rainbow of Desire goes beyond the goal of helping us "get over" our past experiences; as in all branches of Theatre of the Oppressed, these workshops strive to vanquish ongoing oppressions, transforming individuals, relationships and society as a whole.

Below is a list of what we've focused on each week. For a guide to terminology used in these descriptions check out the Theatre of the Oppressed Glossary.
  1. Games, Hopes, Fears, Images: For our group's first encounter, 20 people played icebreaker games and then shared hopes and fears for this series using a variation on Paolo Friere's "Problem Tree" popular education tool. We also worked with Colombian Hypnosis, the quintessential Theatre of the Oppressed game, as a method for developing the language of Image Theatre.
  2. The Screen Image: A basic Rainbow of Desire technique with rotating cast that shows us their Images of the Antagonist, then trumps then with Counter-Images of the Protagonist.
  3. Rashomon: Inspired by the Akira Kurosawa film of the same name, the characters in a story give their version of how things are from their own varied perspectives.
  4. The Analytical Image: We expose an array of emotions contained in two characters, then match them up on a series of theatrical blind dates to see what works and what doesn't.
  5. The Mask of the Oppressor and The Circuit of Rituals and Masks: Two techniques focusing on the concept of "mask"—a static way of presenting ourselves in specific relationships and situations. In the first technique, everyone has the opportunity to wear the mask of their own oppressor, as well as someone else's mask of the oppressed. In the second technique, one person wears the mask normally worn in one situation and applies it to other situations to see what the results are. 
  6. The Rainbow of Desires: When we're in a relationship where we want something, but we're not sure what it is, this technique separates the muddled entanglement of desires into distinct "stripes" for us to figure out which desires are useful and which ones can be done without.
  7. The Carrousel  of Oppressions: We all deal with oppressive circumstances that have similarities to and differences from one another. This technique puts people in each others shoes to witness and be witnessed how they fare. 
For information on the Rainbow of Desire, or any of our other workshops, get in touch: "tophilly@gmail.com" or 215-730-0982.

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