After many years of working with communities at risk of social exclusion, I have developed my very own methodology, drawing on the ethics of applied theatre and the aesthetics and principles of physical theatre. I call this ‘Raw Theatre’ (or Theatre of Yes).
Raw Theatre is a methodology that uses the power of beauty as a language to break stereotypes within situations that society views with apathy; by creating provocative and emotional performances, we are able to transform the lives of people who suffer social exclusion.
Yet how can we create a high-quality performance with people who have stories that should be shared but who are not professional actors?
How can we use powerful performances as an axis of change?
How can emotions be the motor for the struggle against the social oppression that many groups suffer?
Through years of creating plays with groups around the world, I have realized the importance of onstage quality as the axis of change to break stereotypes that vulnerable people are often confronted with. Instead of developing a leafleting campaign to raise awareness of people suffering oppressive circumstances, I propose the creation of an emotional performance derived from often undisclosed stories, where the important result is collective catharsis between spectators and actors. In this work, hidden questions are answered and emotions and desires otherwise deprived of space to be shared are revealed.
Raw means raw: raw meat, pure, frank, wounded, natural, fresh, not cooked, wild, clear and true. Raw is hard to see. Raw is not easy to find. Raw also means collective, looking at the wound for collective healing. Raw means connecting with emotions, with ourselves, by taking off our daily masks and discovering our inner selves.
Characteristics of the methodology
- Beauty as an axis of change
- Physical theatre (Lecoq methodology)
- A theatrical result in terms of excellence
- Humility, generosity and honesty being presented as drivers of change
- Theatrical inspiration from outside: the world and its nuances being used as theatrical inspiration
- The Greek chorus being explored as a collective force
- Personal stories being used as weapons to raise the profile of those who are not given a voice
- The ‘Yes’ being used as political-ethical repositioning in a world where the "You are not enough" reigns in cultural discourse
- Emotion being used as a driver to provide alternatives to imperialistic logic
- Progress being made from victimhood to collective responsibility
- Work being carried out with humans rather than collectives