Community theatre is theatre for thecommunity, performed by the community in order to educate as well as entertainthe community on certain subjects for certain audiences, e.g. safe sex forteenagers or how to cross a road for little children.There weretwo particular people that had an impact in community theatre Joan Littlewoodand Augusto Boal. Joan Littlewood in the 1950’s and 1960’s developedher own style of theatre, ‘Workshop Theatre’ (1945).
The purpose of JoanLittlewoods theatre was to make a mockery of bad situations e.g. ‘Oh what alovely war’ (1963) which was one of her most famous productions, theproductions were performed by armature working class people who liked toperform but didn’t have a background in acting. Augusto Boal developed theatre of theoppressed, the purpose of this theatre was to get the audience involved in theperformance to change the scene from oppression to a good scene which givesthem power to make a difference in the story and hopefully teaches them to makea change in the world, if they see oppression in the real world they wouldremember the performance experience and the power they held and change thesituation in the real world. Pomegranate theatre is the venueperforming ‘Flashdance the musical’, the purpose of this performance is toteach people to always chase their dreams and do what they love and don’t letanything stop them, and if there is something getting in the way let it helpdrive the ambition forward.
They want to raise awareness of how to solveproblems, overcome obstacles, conquer love all while doing the things you loveand aspire to do or be. The pomegranate’s mission is to teach, motivate, helpand entertain the audience watching. The focus and themes of ‘Flashdance’ aremainly cultural issues about love, ambition and strife. The performance’saudience is mainly for older children, teenagers and young adults who willlearn but also be entertained from ‘Flashdance’, about love, ambition andstrife, however it is also a great tale for the older generations as well abouthow to solve problems and live life to the fullest. The pomegranate theatre isa community theatre venue that allows a range of local people to perform andhave fun in dance, drama, musical theatre as well as performing in front ofpeople on stage several times a year, they hold workshops for people aged 7 -30 and have many different groups for the more experienced people. Thepomegranate opens their arms to anyone no matter what race, gender, age ordisability.
Young Inspirations Theatre ArtsCompany is a venue performing ‘Chess the musical’, the purpose of theperformance is to inform, educate, motivate and entertain children about chess,love, relationships, unfair life and unhappy endings. They want to raiseawareness that even though life is unfair, there is usually a made up happyending that releases someone of their misery and makes them happy for a while,but in the end it all ends badly, realistically. The issues involved in ‘Chess’are primarily cultural issues for example, love and relationships.
The focus ison two main chess players who are in love but also play in international chesstournaments, however one of them always wins but he realises playing chess isthe only thing that can make him happy as life is unfair and the one who heloves is a spy, the themes are loss, power, love and deception. The audience ismainly for adults as it is about love, deception and is quite upsetting. ‘Chessthe musical’ is not for the younger generations as it is quite raunchy and notsuitable for the younger people. Young Inspirations Theatre Arts Company is atheatre venue that allows lots of local people to come and sing and act forfun, they hold two different workshops, one for 6 – 15 year olds, and thenanother for 16+. Young Inspirations Theatre Arts Company is highly musicaltheatre based and has high standards for work, however allows anyone to join,no matter who they are.Harley Quin Productions is a venuethat is performing ‘Cymbeline’, the purpose of the performance is to teach,educate, inform, and entertain people about the key themes and cultural issues:’love, jealousy, betrayal, courage, repentance and redemption’, (2017). Thefocus in ‘Cymbeline’ is love and betrayal over marriage and family. They wantto raise awareness about deceit, trust and love, they want to make aware thatanyone can betray and families can disown their own.
The focus in ‘Cymbeline’ isthe protagonist called ‘Lachimo’ who wants to seduce someone called ‘Imogen’and in order to get to her he has to go on a journey through many differentthemes ‘love, jealousy, betrayal, courage, repentance and redemption’, so thefocus is based around his journey to happiness which is what Harley QuinProductions aims to get the audience to feel and to aim to in life. Theperformance’s audience is for the older teens and adults as it is very violent,and its aim is to teach people about life and a guide to happiness through loveand deceit, therefore it is not for the young children as they may notunderstand but also as it is violent and uses bad language. They have classesfor the community to work in and perform for the community. They mainly focuson Shakespeare plays but also do a lot of musical theatre shows which they areknown for as being quite unique. They accept any people that want to join,experienced or not, any disabilities as they are flexible with people andparts, everyone is equal.I think that all the three companiesand venues are different but similar in many different ways, The Pomegranatelikes to tackle cultural issues using the style of Augusto Boal, and they takea story of oppression but during the performance the plot changes and the storyof oppression changes into a story of happiness, love and success.
WhereasYoung Inspirations Theatre Arts Company likes to use the style of JoanLittlewood, where they make a mockery of the situation about the love betweenthe two rivals and that they both pretend to live happy lives even though theyreally aren’t. However, The Harley Quin Productions likes to use both communityarts influencers, they use Joan Littlewood to make a mockery of the fact theprotagonist has been disowned and they have to go through a harrowing journeyto find love and marriage, but they also use Augusto Boal to change a badsituation into a good one, to teach people to live better lives and help peoplelive better lives. Some techniques we could use in ourperformance that they use are a plot twist to make the plot go from sad and badto a story of happiness and fun, to allow us to engage and educate the childrenwithout them getting bored, or we could use techniques like audienceco-operation to allow the children to participate and stay interested in theperformance the whole time, but it will help them remember what is good andwhat is bad as the children will have been proactive in the performance. In my career would love to be moreinvolved in kitchen sink theatre, however I may possibly come across forumtheatre, invisible theatre and image theatre, If I possibly came across theother types of theatre I would be interested but not as much as if I had a jobrevolved around kitchen sink theatre.