This was originally an email to Tracy following a discussion with her (she's reading Theatre of the Oppressed now)
thinking about what we were arguing about at comet and then re-reading the post i made to my blog about it i remembered some stuff that might clarify things.
i still disagree that Boal's system is a rehearsal for revolution, but not for the reasons i was saying last night (see... i'm dumb sometimes) the reason i don't think his stuff is revolutionary has less to do with the methods he uses and more to do with the context of those methods.
The theatre of the oppressed only works for the oppressed. trying to get bourgois people to do that stuff A. wouldn't work or B. wouldn't mean the same thing (it'd become simple entertainment, or teach-ins for corporations, a la James Carlson) So, the methods he uses empower or rehearse the lowest class, the proletariat, or even the underclass.
the reason i don't think this is revolutionary is because i don't think those classes are revolutionary. The only kind of "revolution" that'll come out of the "lower class" is a dictatorship of the proletariat. Is Lennism. Is the USSR. Is bad bad bad and ultimatly not at all advancing or changing the real economic relationships capitalism is based upon (merely replaces the capitalist appropriators of surplus labor with party or the government appropriators).
So, to me there's gotta be a third class rising between the proles and the bourgoisie, which (for lack of better term) i'd call artists or bohemians. The Creative Class. So, what we need to be looking for (the thing that's not spectacle and not lame participatory theatre) is not the theatre of the oppressed, but the theatre of the creative class, which seems kinda redundant, doesn't it?
a characteristic of the creative class is diversity. So really, the content and form of the new creative class theatre doesn't matter (as long as they are original) as much as the means and methods of production. So, we're ALREADY on top of that shit. Right?
i mean, we could be MORE on top of it, but i think we're doing pretty damn good.
2 days ago