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Remote Forum Theater

Forum Theater provides a forum to test and rehearse actions and responses to oppressive situations in the form of an interactive play. What differentiates Forum Theatre from other interactive theatre techniques is precisely its political goal of human and social emancipation. By stimulating the spectator’s effective intervention, Forum Theatre seeks to provoke reflections about the forms of social oppression presented and the revision of the possibilities of modifying reality. 

Forum Theater is one of the many methods for doing Theater of the Oppressed, an approach developed by Augusto Boal to rehearse reaction to oppression using theater improvisation techniques.

The Theater of the Techno-Oppressed developed a Remote Forum Theatre method, which consists of the following:

  1. Creating the aesthetic space using all of the available digital and analog costumes, props, and spaces;
  2. Improvising and rehearsing the play using conferencing systems while taking rough notes in collaborative writing software;
  3. Staging the play using conferencing systems with simultaneous text chat interaction and video recording;
  4. Opening the play for discussion and spect-actor intervention either through chat or through joining the conference;
  5. Spreading the video recording in social networks and inviting for further comments. 

In the Wicked Problems, Wicked Designs (2021) play, Streamyard was used for broadcasting simultaneously to Hopin, the conference’s official system, and the Design e Oppression networks’ Youtube channel to create the backspace and the front space, as shown on the scheme.

The augmented reality masks provided by SnapCamera filters are an essential feature of the remote forum aesthetic space. Actors gain a fast way of expressing the emotional complexity of their characters.



Saito, Carmem; Van Amstel, Frederick M.C.; Serpa, Bibiana; Angelon, Rafaela. (in press) Coming to Terms with Design Wickedness: Reflections from a Theater-Forum on design thinking. Design Research Society Conference (DRS 2022), Bilbao.

Saito, Carmem; Van Amstel, Frederick M. C.; Serpa, Bibiana O; Angelon, Rafaela. Wicked rituals of contemporary design thinking. (2023). In: Mehl, Johanna and Höfler, Carolin (Eds). Attending [to] Futures. Matters of Politics in Design Education, Research, Practice. Hamburg: Adocs. p. 150-161.

Categories: Methods & Tools.

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