getting out of my skin (in other words, jumping off a cliff with courage)

in a few hours i head out to austin, texas. one of my favorite cities. i love the heat and the smallness feeling of it. i have very fond memories of country dancing and flourescent lights at midnight. it will be nice to be back, it has historically served as a sort of “escape” for me and this upcoming trip will be a little bit of an escape too. this time not running from anything back home but on the contrary running to myself, inside myself, turning myself into a ball of courage and jumping off a beautiful cliff, eyes wide open, and landing in a gorgeous body of water.

i am headed to a theatre of the oppressed conference. 3 days of intense theatre training with the late augosto boal’s son, julian. following 3 days of less intense workshops where networking and notetaking will be a lot of what i do. as scarred as i am of being in front of people for any reason at all, i am learning to (a little more graciously) welcome the fact that i am in front of people a lot and that getting better at it will only serve me and the work that i do well.

theatre of the oppressed is about rehearsing what one will do “in real life”. so in my own version of TO i am learning to do just that. i am rehearsing being more courageous.  faciliating theatre of the oppressed requires a keen eye, attentive ears, and quick thinking. i long for all these skills. sometimes i find myself getting nervous and doubtful of my capabilities to facilitate well. let alone do theatre and facilitate others doing it as well!

what i know i have ground in is in nurturing relationships and facilitating conversations that lead to conscientizacion. so what is a little added theatre right? what TO does is make active actors of everybody. the audience become spec-actors, jumping into scenes adding more life to the problem at hand. TO seeks to ask questions, many questions. It longs to complicate issues and encourages all present to contextualize the situation, not leaving behind the personal, spriritual, social, political, economic, and historical truths molding the situation.

TO is a mezcla of education, social activism, and therapy. How i came to find this art, i am not sure. someone gave me an opportunity to take a training and through that the doors flung open and a flood of trust came my way. through the trust others lend me, my heart has begun to trust that which so many eyes see.

i wanna fly with that courage this week and allow my body to play with creativity and imagination, i have a feeling i will experience a little more of my own liberation, it is very exciting to think about, as miles horton taught me through his work and writing, if we are in the struggle for liberation for the long haul then we must make sure we are placing ourselves in places that we know will push us to grow, to challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort level for the purpose of living out the otro mundo that many of us know is possible.

for more information on theatre of the oppressed check out:

www.ptoweb.org/

books by augosto boal:

*theatre of the oppressed

*rainbow of desire

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