AUSGUSTO BOAL ASSIGNMENT
Sexual Harassment: Image Theatre
Everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their workplace; one of the most common ways of undermining a worker's ease in their working environment is through persistent pestering, whether it be for increased output, sexual favours or any other matter. I was eager to use Image Theatre to explore the issue of harassment in the workplace because it explores the psychological way that people perceive the oppressor and the oppressed through the use of physical tableaux. It was also a way for each person to present their own views without feeling overly uncomfortable that they may offend another person, which is essential because these people will have to work productively together after the workshop has finished. When I asked if there was a particular theme that any person wanted to explore, one of the women suggested that we form images of 'sexual harassment'.
Acting as the Joker I first of all I asked the woman to construct an image of what she viewed the theme of sexual harassment to be by sculpting the bodies of her fellow workmates into an image of the harassment. The image she constructed was very simple; it consisted of only a victim, a woman trying to cover her body with her hands, and a harasser, a man trying to touch the woman where her hands did not cover her, neither the victim nor the oppressor had any facial expression and on the whole the rest of the group did not agree with her simplistic representation. A second female volunteer shaped the victim similarly to the first woman's image, but changed the harasser so that he was working removed from the victim, but all his attention was focussed on the woman. Again most of the audience did not...