Legislative Theatre Event | International Conference of the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed
Today marks the opening of the 20th Annual International Conference of the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO). The conference kicks off with the Legislative Theatre event, beginning at 7 p.m. in the UNO Black Box Theatre (basement level, Weber Fine Arts Building). This event is free and open to all UNO faculty, staff, and students, as well as to the general public.
About the Legislative Theatre event
The event will feature seats of honor for guests Jesse Hagopian, educational reform advocate; Kristin Girten, UNO English professor; Katherine Burke, PTO president; Leigh Thompson, PTO board member and UNO Theatre graduate; Sheila Rocha, UNO alum and facilitator for the Nebraska Arts Council; and Gail Baker McCarty, dean of the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.
Collaborative Forum Theatre scenes will be performed between the guests and audience, focusing on current issues in education. Audience members can volunteer to intervene in a scene, take the place of the person experiencing oppression, and show a different strategy to oppose the situation. The audience in turn reflects on and evaluates each of these “proposals.”
Once a scene is explored, the audience is asked to write up legislation to address the difficulty represented. These proposals are then passed to the honorary guests, who read the proposals, sort them by theme, then pass them on to a “lawyer,” who summarizes the ideas into a formal statement of law. The formalized statements are read aloud to the audience, who then debate and vote on whether to pass the resolution, creating a dynamic and compelling dialogue about the current state of the educational system.
About the PTO Conference
The PTO Conference continues Friday, June 27 starting at 9 a.m. in the new UNO Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center.
For twenty years Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed conferences have been a place to gather, dialogue, explore, express, share, learn, teach, develop and build community. In this exciting moment the history and significance of our work in education, in theatre, in combating local and global oppression, in political struggle, in social justice, in community organizing, in scholarship, in performance certainly deserves critical review and celebration.