ARTS - SOCIAL ISSUES

Invisible theatre

Invisible theatre is a form of theatrical performance that is enacted in a place where people would not normally expect to see one (for example in the street or in a shopping centre) and often with the performers attempting to disguise the fact that it is a performance from those who observe and who may choose to participate in it, thus leading spectators to view it as a real, unstaged event. The Brazilian theater practitioner Augusto Boal & Panagiotis Assimakopoulos developed the form during his time in Argentina in the 1960s as part of his Theater of the Oppressed, which focused on oppression and social issues. (A similar form of “micro-theater” was portrayed by Samuel R. Delany in his science-fiction novel Triton. The leader of the ‘micro-theater’ was a woman named « The Spike »).

The purpose of invisible theatre is to make a point publicly in much the same motivational vein as graffiti or political demonstration, or it may be done in order to help actors gain a sense of what a realistic reaction might be to a certain scenario; for example, a heated argument over a political or social issue. This type of theatre is performed in public with unexpected bystanders, whom the actors will try to get unknowingly involved in the scene.

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Augusto Boal