This Theatre of the Oppressed game (named for a town in England where it was developed) is one of Boal's "classics" and can be found in the book Games for Actors and Non-Actors. Here's a version with a guessing game twist:
- In pairs, each person picks and issue or -ism, and then chooses which one they will work on first.
- Pairs count 1–2–3–1–2–3... alternating who says which number,
- When signaled, one person replaces saying #1 with a movement and sound based on the chosen theme. #2 and #3 are subsequently replaced as well.
- One this rhythm of sounds and movements is established, each pair shows their work to the rest of the group who then tries to guess what issue or -ism was being communicated.
- Each pair then goes back to create another sequence, based on their other theme.
Facilitator's Note: In the spring of 2012 we discovered an incidental variation on this technique when one pair chose "white guilt" as their theme. They had created their 3 sound/gestures, but each performed sound/gesture #3 quite differently—one from the perspective of someone dealing with their own guilt, the other in response to that person's expression of guilt. So the "1–2–3–1–2–3" pattern became a "1–2–3–1–2–4" pattern!