Speaking theatre/doing pedagogy: re-visiting theatre of the oppressed

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While many educators find that critical pedagogy appeals ideologically, some have found the transition from ideology to praxis difficult. One route for making the transition from theory to practice combines critical pedagogy with interactive performance practice. This combination creates a learning community that empowers participants, which generates critical understanding, and which promotes transformation--all goals of critical pedagogy and the interactive performance techniques of Augusto Boal. In one enactment of Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed, student performers created an interactive drama that explored issues of body image and related social pressures. As a result of their participation in the process, they learned about personal behaviors related to eating and body image, initiated critiques of cultural norms and expectations, and developed a richer understanding of the performance process.
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