Topics: Theatre, Constantin Stanislavski, Actor Pages: 3 (1511 words) Published: March 25, 2015
DRAMA ESSAY – BOAL/MEYERHOLD Chelsea Carrick-Donahoo The new and abstract philosophical beliefs of theatre practitioners Augusto Boal and Vsevolod Meyerhold have greatly influenced the creation of their theatrical practices. Boal’s context within Brazil’s oppressive regime in the twentieth century developed his goal to use theatre as a therapeutic means of showing audiences how they could overcome oppression in his Theatre of the Oppressed. Meyerhold wanted to steer away from realism and utilise the body as a tool. Both practitioners developed their own systems of theatre and actor training which are still relevant in drama and theatre today. Augusto Boal was born in Brazil in 1931. In the 1960’s, Boal invented and developed the Theatre of the Oppressed which aimed at helping individuals and communities liberate themselves from oppressive situations. Boal’s theatre questioned the government and ultimately resulted in his imprisonment, torture and exile from Brazil in the early 1970’s. His deportation inspired him to develop a new form of theatre to publicize the issue of oppression. Image theatre is one of the various different styles explored by Boal to engage the audience. Image theatre aims to portray an ensembles collective visual perspective of an issue or oppression. This issue is presented in a series of tableaux and is eventually resolved in an ideal image. Boal’s underlying idea was that a picture paints a thousand words and that problems, issues and emotions can be clearly portrayed to the audience without a reliance on words. In some instances, images can be closer to our true feelings then words. This is similar to Meyerhold’s philosophy that the body is an emotional tool. One important technique used in image theatre is mirroring which expresses ideas through the bodies of others. Boal believed that mirroring and copying another person’s movements can help the actor to make their character more...
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