Newspaper theatre


"Newspaper theatre" was systemized in 1970. Several sources present a different number of techniques. We will present some of the techniques pointed out by Augusto Boal, according to his books "Aesthetics of the Oppressed" and "The Theatre of the Oppressed". 

  • Simple reading: the news item is read detaching it from the context of the newspaper, from the format which makes it false or tendentious.
  • Crossed reading: two news items are read in crossed (alternating) form, one throwing light on the other, explaining it, giving it a new dimension.
  • Complementary reading: data and information generally omitted by the newspapers of the ruling classes are added to the news
  • Rhythmical reading: as a musical commentary, the news is read to the rhythm of the samba, tango, Gregorian chant, etc., so that the rhythm functions as a critical ‘filter’ of the news, revealing its true content, which is obscured in the newspaper.
  • Parallel action: the actors mime parallel actions while the news is read, showing the context in which the reported event really occurred; one hears the news and sees something else that complements it visually.
  • Improvisation: the news is improvised on stage to exploit all its variants and possibilities.
  • Historical: data or scenes showing the same event in other historical moments, in other countries, or in other social systems, are added to the news.
  • Reinforcement: the news is read or sung with the aid or accompaniment of slides, jingles, songs, or publicity materials.
  • Concretion of the abstract: that which the news often hides in its purely abstract information is made concrete on the stage: torture, hunger, unemployment, etc., are shown concretely, using graphic images, real or symbolic.
  • Text out of context: the news is presented out of the context in which it was published; for example, an actor gives the speech about austerity previously delivered by the Minister of Economics while he devours an enormous dinner: the real truth behind the minister’s words becomes demystified – he wants austerity for the people but not for himself.
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