One Step Forward
Social roles, privilege, oppression
How much time do you need?
How many people do you need?
An audio system for music playback.
4 duct tape rolls
4 meters of craft paper rolls.
40 colored A4 papers (in 4×10)
Before the beginning of the workshop it is important to know the number of the participants in order to place the A4 papers on the ground accordingly. The facilitator should prepare the list of social roles/characters (each paper containsone social role/character that each participant will adopt and each coloured group of papers is given to five participants), while the teams will be formed later. In case the group consists of 20 people there should be 20 different social roles/characters and 4 different colour groups. Moreover the facilitator has to check the audio system that will be playing music during the process and create a line out of duct tape in one part of the workshops’ area.
First of all the facilitator lets participants introduce themselves and initiate with an acquaintance game which involves music, physical movement and different methods of self-expression allowing participants to feel more comfortable with each other and perceive the space in which they are.
In the first part, the papers with different social roles/characters are distributed randomly among participants. The participants play with them in their hands, without being allowed to open them.
In the second part, after becoming acquainted with each other and becoming a team, the participants can open and read their own papers. Taking their time, each participant gets into their assigned role. With music in the background, the participants use their own bodies, improvising their interpretations of their assigned role. At a given moment, the music stops and the participants stand on a shown line that has been drawn on the floor. Moreover, in the third part, the facilitator asks participants a number of questions concerning various circumstances. The main purpose of the questions is to assess whether they felt free or oppressed performing their role in all these different circumstances. The questions can vary from “I am able to go on vacation once every year”, “I can express my opinion freely” etc. If they felt free, they move one step forward. If they felt oppressed, they stay still. In the fourth part, the participants are provided with different kinds of materials, in order to let them create a character that represents their assigned one. Then articipants are split into smaller groups (depending on the colour of the paper they have) and have to try to create a story that combines their characters, using music, movements, drawings or any other form of self-expression.
When every group is done with its story, the creations are placed on a paper for all together to observe.
The main objective of the workshop is to form a coherent group of individuals and develop their self-expression and cooperation skills by using the theatre techniques.
We are aiming at a workshop that enables communication skills that can transcend cultures,language barriers and borders . At the same time, we conceived the idea of using different social roles in the hope of nurturing empathy and raising awareness on privilege and different forms of oppression.