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Theater workshop teaches people to communicate with their bodies

by UofL Today last modified Aug 27, 2010 08:59 AM

The University of Louisville Theatre Arts Department is offering a theater workshop that teaches participants to use their bodies — instead of language — to communicate and evoke emotion.

Theater workshop teaches people to communicate with their bodies

Raven Railey

Raven Railey, a writer, theater artist and adjunct faculty member at UofL and Kentucky State University, will lead the Image Theatre workshop, Sept. 10, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The free, public event will be in Room 133, HPES/Thrust Theatre Building (corner of Floyd and Warnock streets).

Railey will lead participants through exercises to create physical images. The technique can be a powerful alternative to words, she said, particularly when the subject matter is "loaded" or emotionally charged.

"By temporarily removing the element of language, we can begin to explore abstract, divisive issues on a more human, unifying level," she said. "By making pictures with our bodies, we connect with the issue on a more personal, concrete level. People will say things in images they might be too shy or intimidated to say through words. Or if they did, they might be easily misunderstood because words don't mean the same things to all people."

During the workshop, participants will identify a common problem and then "discuss" it through physical images. Seminar techniques are based on the teachings of Brazilian theater activist Augusto Boal and his Theatre of the Oppressed, and can be used to facilitate communication and problem-solving.

Railey has taught image theater techniques at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed annual conference, an event based on the work of Boal and educator Paulo Freire to promote critical thinking and social justice. She also has led similar workshops for Convergences Theatre Collective, EarthTones Art, Healing Focus and students at Kentucky State University.

Space is limited and reservations are recommended.

For more information and reservations, call Melanie Henry at 502-852-7682 or e-mail Railey.

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