Immigrants & Refugees: A Theatre For Social Change Workshop

Tuppence Entertainment is currently working on “Immigrants and Refugees: A Theatre for Social Change Workshop” with three classes at University of Incarnate Word. This workshop includes theatrical exercises that pinpoint specific oppressions that then allows us to be able to work towards possible solutions. This allows participants to practice for real life situations in a safe environment.

We use the following Image Theatre  exercise in rehearsals to familiarize our actors with the oppression and to start to discover possible solutions. These images are our interpretation of what the experiences of an immigrant in a classroom setting might be.

  The first image shows what the actors thought the oppression looked like at its worst. The immigrant is in the chair while one of the classmates has her hands over her ears and the other one is pointing for the immigrant to leave. The professor is telling the immigrant to be quiet. After taking a picture and talking about it, they were asked to make the oppression even worse. This is portrayed in the second image.

The first image shows what the actors thought the oppression looked like at its worst. The immigrant is in the chair while one of the classmates has her hands over her ears and the other one is pointing for the immigrant to leave. The professor is telling the immigrant to be quiet. After taking a picture and talking about it, they were asked to make the oppression even worse. This is portrayed in the second image.

  We attempted to make all the individuals in the picture even more oppressive. The immigrant is now sitting on the floor, a more powerless, vulnerable position than sitting in a chair. One of the classmates faces away from her now with her hands still over her ears while the other one has a raised hand instead of just pointing. The professor is elevated now and still unwilling to help.

We attempted to make all the individuals in the picture even more oppressive. The immigrant is now sitting on the floor, a more powerless, vulnerable position than sitting in a chair. One of the classmates faces away from her now with her hands still over her ears while the other one has a raised hand instead of just pointing. The professor is elevated now and still unwilling to help.

  The third image is what the classroom would look like in an ideal situation, without any oppression. We see this represented by the students and the professor all sitting on the same level, talking and learning about the immigrant’s story.

The third image is what the classroom would look like in an ideal situation, without any oppression. We see this represented by the students and the professor all sitting on the same level, talking and learning about the immigrant’s story.

  The fourth and final image is the most important: the transitional. This image is the most difficult for the actors to make. It shows the action needed to take place in order to bring about the necessary change to move from the worst situation to the ideal. In our transitional image, we see one of the classmates listening to the immigrant while the professor confronts the other classmate.

The fourth and final image is the most important: the transitional. This image is the most difficult for the actors to make. It shows the action needed to take place in order to bring about the necessary change to move from the worst situation to the ideal. In our transitional image, we see one of the classmates listening to the immigrant while the professor confronts the other classmate.

After we have formed all the images, we progress through the images by moving from the most oppressive to the transitional and then to the final ideal image. This transition between all of them shows the action that needs to happen to bring about the necessary change.

In the workshops, we use this to help warm up the participants as well as getting them to start to think about the oppression and the actions needed to bring about change.

 

Interested in participating? Contact Tuppence today at jacobpursell@gmail.com to get involved, develop a project, or simply learn more about what we do.