Community theatre was very important and had to be

Community theatre is a type of performing that is made
towards an area of the community, like old people or people with a disability.
It is used to bring people together and send a message or a certain moral that
would fit the community it’s set to. Community theatre is made with the
community and staged towards a community so it’s all community based. It’s also
normally staged in a communal area that is accessible to people of the
community like a park or a school. It will usually be a place based on the
audience the production is set towards.

 

Community theatre is often used
to take an approach using theatre to address issues that exist in the world.
Augusto Boal, known for his theatre of oppression, was a practitioner who would
address issues of oppression and social cohesion. He would focus his
performances on social issues such as relationships between people, how people
were treated and oppressed and other things that related. Joan Littlewood
another well-known practitioner for community theatre who is most known work
was for developing her theatre workshop. Joan would focus her performances less
on social issues but on political ones and tried to change the way people would
think towards them instead of being brainwashed by politicians and gave people
their own beliefs. Issues that are addressed in community theatre was very
important and had to be quite precise so that people didn’t take the wrong
message or feel they were being forced into a certain type of thinking. It
would often be set to a specific audience dependant on the subject. However,
despite going at it from different angles Joan and Boal were both focused on
facing issues that existed in their communities and to give people a chance to
think through issues that existed in that area, to make changes to the way they
think or to the way others think around them.

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The location was also very
important as to reach people of the community it had to be a communal area in
which was accessible to their target audience, so if it was based towards
people in poverty it would have to be somewhere affordable or free such as a
park or a shopping centre. Augusto devised a practice called invisible theatre
in which he would do a performance in public places that everyday people would
walk past it their daily lives but not normally expect to see a performance,
such as a shopping centre. This means it is easily accessible and noticeable
but it’s not like a big stage production and doesn’t take too much set up or
planning around the community. It got its name from the fact that the
performers would try to disguise the fact that it was a performance and would
instead try to show it as a real-life event making it more effective and
realistic. Joan would perform in the theatre royal which is where she lived.
She used it as it is in a communal area and easily accessible as well as
showing people that it is a theatre. Doing her performances here meant it would
be more widely known and self-advertised to the community making it easier to
become known. It also meant that there would be a set location and people would
know that and would have somewhere to associate her performances with. The
difference being that Augusto would use public spaces where people wouldn’t
even be told it was a performance whereas Joan’s performances would be known
for what they are and bring across a point in a more direct way but I think
Augusto’s was more effective and open to the community.

 

The people acting in Augusto’s
performances would often be people that felt oppressed by society. He would sue
the people of the community to express ideas and thoughts about how to change
people’s way of thinking towards oppressive behaviours and try to make it so
people were more equalized. The acting style was to make people believe what
was happening was real and to give the audience a chance to change the outcome
he would use what he called “spect-actors” so that everyone felt they were a
spectator and an actor and feel like they had a way to change the outcome of
what happens to the characters they relate to and make a difference to their
own way of thinking through it. Joan however would perform directly to the
audience and try to alter their way of thinking through a more direct approach
and make people believe their way of thinking can change for the better and
feel a little embarrassed by the way they thought of things before. Her acting
style was less based around people with diverse back stories and intimate
character designs and was focused on specific caricatures or types of
characters so that it was easier to relate with specifics. Joan was known for
accepting anyone into her theatre performances whether they were a gangster or
a prostitute as she said herself. This made it more diverse and more socially
accepting in terms of bringing a community together however it may have also
made people feel as if It were wrong but that’s the kind of thinking that Joan
would have liked to change.

 

Both Joan’s and Augusto’s purpose
was to change a way of thinking in the community whether to a different
audience or using different techniques they both tried to make changes within
the community to achieve social cohesion and to bring people together and to a
better understanding. Augusto would achieve this purpose by fighting oppression
and trying to make all people equally as important and values in the community
and Joan would set characters into a debate and get both the characters and the
audience thinking about what’s right and wrong and what they need to change
within the community.

 

I believe Joan was right in her
way of thinking that any type of person should be accepted to do theatre as it
allows people to escape form their lives no matter who they were and it also
made her effort for social cohesion even stronger as people who wouldn’t get
along in the real world could get a long through their love of acting and
performances. However, I agree more with Augusto’s performance style as he
wasn’t as direct and I like his approach into reaching people’s issues and the
social issues into the community. I also like his choice of location better as
it was more community based and gave spectators a feel like they were a part of
the performance as much as the actors were. I really liked Augusto’s idea of
the invisible theatre and really making people believe what they were seeing to
be a real-life event and to give them the opportunity to affect the outcome. I
think it showed peoples true intentions towards their way of thinking and what
they’d like to change and set it in motion. Although I prefer the thought of
television acting I find theatre very exciting and alive compared to it and the
techniques used to involve the audience and Joan’s direct approach will really
help me develop as an actor and develop acting for people who look into them as
their way of thinking and acting was revolutionary.