Forn de teatre Pa'tothom
(From Barcelona, SPAIN)
Who are we?
Theatre entity in Barcelona, specialized in Augusto Boal’s creation of Theatre of the Opressed. Since 2000, we have developed different projects within the framework of the Theatre of the Oppressed in fields such as the defense of Human Rights, the eradication of social exclusion and the empowerment of the weakest, always in search of alternative social models. We use theatre as a teaching tool in all fields.
The Forn del teatre Pa'tothom wants to integrate different cultural expressions using theatre as a tool to help people. The crux of the matter is that the theatre has a social sense and led everyone can participate. Pa’tothom wants to fight against the structures which favours the social exclusion of some vulnerable groups. Pa’tothom define by “exclusion” the consequences that some people suffers because an economical philosophy. That’s how the Human Right became another consumer good. And “vulnerable” is who don’t have the possibility to defend himself against social exclusion.
Description of activities
Pa’tothom follows two basic lines:
- The first is to convey drama teaching -using techniques and tools of drama and Theatre of the Opressed (A.Boal)- to all people who want to be actors but also to those who want develop social projects such as community actions.
- The second is to offer an ideal space to the neighbourhood, entities, and other groups, for the staging of cultural activities, with special priority given to theatre groups. Even though theatre is our number one priority, we also work in different fields, such as conferences or exhibitions. Our school is also an open space for different teaching techniques, coordination of activities together with entities of the neighbourhood and creation of new social iniciative projects.
These activities are aimed to an audience as wide as possible, so that every individual is given the possibility of participating.
A brief resumé
Pa’tothom was born from the effort of enterprising people who love theatre and art commited with their neighbourhood and their city. After finding an adequate space to work, we started working on projects that joined art and social work. Since then, the focal point has been to feed Barcelona with theatre proposals and to act as a cultural axis to fight against marginalization.
Pa’tothom collaborates with different social entities in and around Barcelona (Community Centres, public schools, etc) allowing young people and those in less privileged economic situations to access to theatre.
During these first 10 years nearly 1500 people have passed through Pa’tothom, of which 250 had received grants. We also organize exhibitions, conferences, storytelling, or concerts. Pa’tothom also helps to the publishing and translation of books related to the Theatre of the Oppressed.
Pa’tothom offers classes and workshops for beginners and professionals. The school has two-year-courses in Drama and Theatre of Social Intervention as well as workshops and intensive courses. Theatre of social Intervention also provides the attendants with practical training in existing proyects of the school. New projects include the training and formation of school monitors through theatre.
Pa’tothom rents its premises for rehearsals of theatre groups or intensive courses and workshops.
Pa’tothom pays special attention to commited people living hard economic situations and awards them with grants that involve free access to the school and participation in projects.
Relation with other theatre companies
Pa’tothom supports theatre companies and has productive exchanges with them. Pa’tothom also helps theatre companies involved in similar activities.
- Organizing conferences, exhibitions, concerts, readings, etc.
Social intervention / Theatre of the Oppressed
Includes projects such as:
Workhops in public schools of disadvantaged areas, Theatre Forum and workshops in prisons, Theatre Forum in Parents’ Associations, Workshops with drug addicts, Workshops with mentally handicapped people, etc.
The priority of our activities is to promote social change.
Forn de teatre Pa'tothom will maintain its teaching and recreational work (within the social involvement) with the prospects of enlarging its activities but, at the same time, without forgetting its essencial values. We would like to integrate different cultural expressions, using theatre as a tool that improves people’s quality of life and contributing with an artistic approach to the integral development of everyone. Theatre is to has an active social sense accessible to everyone.
Bachelor of Theatre Direction, Artistic Director and founder of Forn de teatre Pa’tothom, a theatre training organization that develops workshops, training for forum theatre facilitators, community projects, performances, and training around social justice issues.
Expert in Theatre of the Oppressed and Theatre as Social Intervention in Forn de teatre Pa'tothom. Responsible for teaching classes in theatre, humanities, and immigration studies. Co-ordinate extra-curricular activities for the purpose of providing students with a broader exposure to the social arts. Responsible for teaching a variety of theatre and humanities and coordinator of many social projects in prisons, with young at risk of social exclusion, mentally handicapped people, immigrants, drug addicts, etc. He is currently coordinating the project FRATT (Fighting Racism Through Theatre) funded by the European Union and other social projects.
Excerpt from International Theatre of the Oppressed Organisation
Theatre of the Oppressed was born in 1971, in Brazil, under the very young form of Newspaper Theatre> , with the specific goal of dealing with local problems – soon, it was used all over the country. Forum Theatre came into being in Peru, in 1973, as part of a Literacy Program; we thought it would be good only for South America– now it is practiced in more than 70 countries. Growing up, TO developed Invisible Theatre in Argentina, as political activity, and Image Theatre to establish dialogue among Indigenous Nations and Spanish descendants, in Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico... Now these forms are being used in all kinds of dialogues.
In Europe, TO expanded and the Rainbow of Desire came into being – first to understand psychological problems, later even to create characters in any play. Back in Brazil, the Legislative Theatre was born to help the Desire of the population to become Law – which it did at last 13 times. Right now, the Subjunctive Theatre is coming slowly into being.
We discovered that all those forms, independently where they had been created, could be developed and used all around the world, because they are simply a Human Language.
TO was used by peasants and workers; later, by teachers and students; now, also by artists, social workers, psychotherapists, NGOs... At first, in small, almost clandestine places. Now in the streets, schools, churches, trade-unions, regular theatres, prisons...
Theatre of the Oppressed is the Game of Dialogue: we play and learn together. All kinds of Games must have Discipline - clear rules that we must follow. At the same time, Games have absolute need of creativity and Freedom. TO is the perfect synthesis between the antithetic Discipline and Freedom. Without Discipline, there is no Social Life; without Freedom, there is no Life.
The Discipline of our Game is our belief that we that we must re-establish the right of everyone to exist in dignity. We believe that all of us are more, and much better, than what we think we are. We believe in solidarity.
Our Freedom is to invent ways to help to humanize Humanity, freely invading all fields of human activities: social, pedagogical, political, artistic... Theatre is a Language and so it can be used to speak about all human concerns, not to be limited to theatre itself.
We believe in Peace, not in Passivity!
Above all, we believe that the Theatre of the Oppressed is of, about, by and for the Oppressed, as it is clear in our Declaration of Principles. If you agree with this, we certainly agree with you.
Augusto Boal, Rio de Janeiro 2004