Thursday, September 3, 2009

Participatory Theatre about Women's Lives

Dear family, friends, allies, and supporters,
Vancouver Status of Women
is excited to present

A Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop for Women
Facilitated by Carmen Aguirre

Application Deadline: September 25th 2009
Application Form ... [email for a copy]

About the workshop:
Ignite is a workshop that seeks to create a space of dialogue where participants can explore their life experiences through theatre. Carmen Aguirre will guide the group through theatre games and exercises that lead participants into the gradual creation of scenes from the stories of their lives. Using these theatre tools participants can explore the challenges and possible avenues for action for their communities around issues such as race, class, gender, land, motherhood, immigration, religion, sexuality etc.

This is a FREE program. Food, bus passes, and on-site childcare will be provided. A small honorarium will also be granted to participants with full completion of the workshop.

Who can apply?
Women interested in using theatre to explore the challenges and possible avenues for change for their lives and the lives of their communities. No theatre experience necessary!

Women living with systemic barriers are especially encouraged to apply. This may include but it not limited to barriers around race, age, poverty, queer/lesbian/two-spirited/trans-identity, disability, single motherhood, displacement. Indigenous women and women of colour especially encouraged to apply. VSW if a trans inclusive organization and trans folks are especially encouraged to apply.

About Theatre of the Oppressed:
Created in Brazil in the 1960s by theatre practitioner Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed uses theatre as a tool to explore issues in a community. Using theatre games and exercises, the community creates a play based on their own stories, which they themselves perform. Theatre of the Oppressed has been practiced all over the world in the last forty years and is considered an important tool for healing and action in communities ranging from survivors of British Columbia's First Nations residential schools to youth struggling with addictions in the downtown eastside.

About Carmen Aguirre:
Carmen is an award-winning theatre artist who has written and co-written fifteen plays, including Chile Con Carne, The Trigger, and The Refugee Hotel. She is currently working on her one-woman show Blue Box, commissioned by Toronto's Nightswimming Theatre. As an actor, Carmen has sixty film, tv, and stage acting credits. She has been directing for the last sixteen years, most recently Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters at Studio 58, which landed on The Vancouver Courier's Top Ten Plays of 2007 list. She is currently directing the world premiere of The Refugee Hotel in Toronto. Carmen was the founder and director of Vancouver's The Latino Theatre Group, which ran from 1994 to 2002. The Latino Theatre Group created and performed twenty-five Forum Theatre plays on themes ranging from racism to safe sex, inter-generational conflict, exile, family violence, police violence, sexual abuse, homophobia, and sexism. The group also created and performed two full-length plays, ?QUE PASA with LA RAZA, eh? and Spics n' Span at The Firehall Arts Centre. Carmen trained as a Theatre of the Oppressed/Forum Theatre facilitator with Headlines Theatre Company and with Victoria's Puente Theatre from 1992 to 1996. Further training with the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal, happened in Brazil in 1993 and Seattle in 1997. As a freelance Theatre of the Oppressed facilitator, Carmen has worked with: The Vancouver School Board, Fort Nelson First Nations, Seton Lake Indian Band, The Boys' and Girls' Club of Greater Vancouver, OXFAM, Kitsilano Community Centre, Neworld Theatre, The Purple Thistle Centre, No One Is Illegal, Theatre Terrific, Theatrix, The Vancouver Playhouse, The Environmental Youth Alliance, The Anti-Racism Neighbourhood Network, YouthCo, and Studio 58. Carmen is a graduate of Studio 58. More about Carmen Aguirre at:

Workshop dates/time: Seven Monday evenings, 6pm-9pm:
Monday October 5
Monday October 12 (note: this is a holiday)
Monday October 19
Monday November 2
Monday November 9
Monday November 16
Monday November 23

Workshop location:
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
800 East Broadway, at Prince Albert Street
Vancouver – Coast Salish Territory
*Please note that Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House is wheelchair accessible*

How to apply?
Fill out the application form attached and send your completed form to
María Escolán at 604-255-7508 (fax) or

Ignite will also need a few volunteers for logistical support. Please let us know if you want to be a volunteer/participant by emailing María Escolán at

Maria Escolan
Women's Centre Coordinator
Vancouver Status of Women
2652 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 1Z6
Phone 604-255-6554 Fax 604-255-7508

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