Imagination Theater provides diverse audiences with original, dynamic, participatory theatrical programming that enhances well-being and creates a more civil, safe society.
Imagination Theater (IT) brings theater to communities all over the country, reaching areas that most theaters do not. Our distinct style is based on techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed. Also known as Forum Theater, this art form was created in the 20th century by Augusto Boal, a director, writer, and activist from Brazil. He believed that theater has a “Human Language” which allows anyone to play and create with dignity. By participating in the “Discipline of the Game”, communities can work together to solve problems (Boal, 2004).
In practice, this means our professional ensemble portrays a series of scenes. When each scene reaches a point of conflict, the show’s facilitator freezes the action and leads the audience in a discussion about what they saw and what they could do differently in the same situation. We then invite an audience member on stage to replay the scene and navigate our actors toward a more positive conclusion. Under the auspice of a social issues role-play, participants become “spect-actors” performing and expressing themselves creatively. By exploring within the safe space of the theater, communities become empowered through the arts.