Theatre of the Oppressed: a multilayered look at the adaptation space

02 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018

By Brendon Bosworth

Theatre is a powerful tool for sharing perspectives, breaking down barriers, and fostering co-creation of ideas. It is valuable in the pursuit of social and political change. This short film documents a 'Theatre of the Oppressed' performance, scripted by Oxfam's Daniel Morchain, at global conference Adaptation Futures 2018. The conference took place in Cape Town, South Africa, in July 2018.

The story follows a mix of characters, including scientists, government officials, NGO representatives, and community members, as they navigate the climate change adaptation space, and deal with competing agendas and ambitions. Through exploring the different perspectives and experiences of these characters, as well as the challenges they face, the piece looks at what it takes to ensure that climate change research actually has impact. The production also shows how involving audience members ("spect-actors") onstage can inject new ideas and meaning into a theatre piece, creating a lively space for collaboration and co-production.


Video credits:

Script: Daniel Morchain, senior climate change adviser, Oxfam GB.

Cast: Chiedza Chinhanu, Chiminae Ball, Damon Munn, Justin Wyatt-Smith, Thapelo Hlongwane, Ntombi Makhutshi, Savannah Steyn, Veronica Baxter (all with the University of Cape Town's Centre for Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies).

Video production: Brendon Bosworth, communications officer, ASSAR.