People standing in a line
a man with wide eyes holding two fingers to his head like a gun


Raw Theatre or Theatre of Yes is a methodology that uses the power of beauty as a language to break stereotypes of situations that society views with apathy. By creating a provocative and emotional performance, 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 are not professional actors but have stories that should be shared?

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, Marina Pallares-Elias has realized the importance of scenic quality as the axis of change to break stereotypes that people in situations of vulnerability are often confronted with. Instead of developing a leafleting campaign to raise awareness of people suffering oppressive circumstances, Marina proposes the creation of an emotional performance from often hidden personal stories where the important result is collective catharsis between spectators and actors. In this work, hidden questions are answered and emotions and desires hitherto 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



MA Dramatherapy; BA (Hons) Social Education; BA (Hons) Acting; Diploma in Physical Acting (Jacques Lecoq)

Marina is theatre director and applied theatre practitioner, with over 15 years of experience working across Europe and South America using theatre as a tool for social change. She has developed exciting theatre projects with traveller communities, ex-offenders, adults with learning disabilities, people with mental health challenges, women, youth groups and refugees all over the world.

She is also the founder and Artistic Director of the theatre company Acting Now, which is based both in Cambridge (UK) and Barcelona (Spain)

Her specialism lies within physical theatre and applied theatre, and she is also a professional facilitator of Theatre of the Oppressed. She has taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin and Bradford (UK) as well as Lille (France), and has run training programmes for the BBC (UK), La Casa Encendida and Matadero (Spain). 

She has been invited to conferences worldwide to talk about her methodology and share best-practice, and she is currently in the process of finishing a book on Raw Theatre (or Theatre of Yes).

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