We cordially invite you to participate in “Legislative Theater for Racial Justice” on May 18, 2018 at UCLA in the Northwest Campus Auditoriu at 6:00 pm.
This engaging event will allow community members, campus, and incarcerated students to envision and propose solutions pertaining to the racialization of mass incarceration through the use of performance. Participants will be able to engage in Legislative Theater, a technique stemming from Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, in which public dialogue, debate and performance are used to develop solutions to community identified issues. This methodology was used to pass 12 laws during Boal’s tenure as a vereador (city councilor) in Brazil. Absolutely no experience in the arts, theater or legislative process is necessary to participate.
During a Legislative Theater event, community participants stage a play demonstrating an oppression they face. Active audience members, or “spect-actors,” then join the scene to rehearse strategies for transformation. Between scenes, participants draft ideas for new laws aimed at ending the particular oppression. All of these ideas are then collected and given to a lawyer and legislator on site, who work together to organize the ideas into related groups. As consensus builds, participants debate the proposed solutions and laws with the council of the lawyer and legislator until an agreement is reached. The community chooses which law or laws to champion. Finally, the legislator takes the completed proposal to their governing body for a vote in hopes of implementation.