As TAP has noted, on May 2, 2009, theatre practitioner and educationalist Augusto Boal passed away. Boal was a trailblazer for educational theatre and his influence can be seen throughout the world – including right here at TAP. Boal created a method of using theatre to help communities prioritize and address the social issues they face every day. His ‘arsenal’ of activities include Image and Forum theatre, which can be used with communities as a way to develop goals and problem-solving that comes from the experiences, knowledge and needs of the communities themselves. Many of TAP’s touring residencies, after school classes, and youth performing companies are structured around Boal’s ideas and methods. The loss of Boal will be felt by many, but his memory and work will surely continue to ripple throughout the world for years to come.
I find it sweetly fitting that on the day of Boal’s passing, TAP held
it’s 3rd annual Youth Arts Festival. This day was filled with music, photos, murals, spoken word, film and theatre that was created by
youth participants representing over 10 middle and high schools in the
greater Austin area. Youth developed art work and performances that
addressed such issues as immigration, gossip, healthy relationships,
diversity and staying in school. Over 100 people attended the
festival, which took place at the Boyd Vance Theatre in the Carver
Museum. It was a beautiful day of art, sharing, raising awareness and
motivating our community to take action. I imagine Augusto Boal’s
spirit was lifted by the voices of our youth that day.
-Amanda Hashagen, Middle and High School Program Director