Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Theatre and Young People

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION The writings and workshops of Augusto Boal have influenced many theatre makers and social change organizations around the world. Combining many of the aspects of improvisation with some of the techniques associated with J.L. Moreno's concept of Sociodrama, Boal's unique synthesis extends Brecht's Epic Theater concepts into a new realm of practicality. This study-unit will give Youth and Community Workers a good understanding of the techniques and raison d'être of such theatre and also present some practical ideas on how to use it in youth work engagement.

This study unit will discuss Boal techniques for the Theatre for the Oppressed including: 'Forum Theatre', 'Invisible Theatre', 'Cop in the Head', 'Rainbow of Desire', and 'Legislative Theatre'. This study-unit will examine the applicability of this type of theatre when engaging with young people. A particular focus will be placed on theatre for and by young people, and the range of learning that takes place through young people's engagement in, and appreciation of this form of art.

Study-unit Aims:

To be able to theorise the work of Augusto Boal

To be able to conceptualise social theatre and apply the particular drama techniques to youth and community work

To be able to develop analytical and practical performance skills that can be used when working with young people, thus engaging young people in emancipatory thinking, development of citizenship and social activism.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- apply the knowledge acquired on the communal aspects of drama and theatre,

- acquire experience and knowledge on methods they can use in theatrical projects with young people in their communities,

- relate theatre and drama to the reflection and processing of community themes.

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills):
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- have learnt basic theatrical and performance skills that can be used with youth groups,

- have garnered a thorough understanding of the 'Theatre of the Oppressed'.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Azzopardi, M. (1999) It teatru u l-komunita : il-funzjoni socjo-politika ta' l-azzjoni drammatika f'Malta fit-tieni nofs tas-Seklu Ghoxrin Unpublished dissertaiton: University of Malta (available)

Barker, H (1989). Arguments for a theatre

Boal, A. (1979). Theatre of the oppressed. Pluto (available)

Boal, A. (1995) The rainbow of desire. the Boal method of theatre and therapy. (available)

Boal, A. (1992). Remove this request Games for actors and non-actors . Routledge (available)

Reading pack


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Presentation SEM2 No 50%


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.