Workshop/Laboratory Media Theater Halle/Saale, Germany November 12-13, 2016 (10 am – 4.30 pm)

The media – a double-edged sword

Between a tool of dominance a weapon of resistance

Deutsche Version

Where: Kulturwerkstatt „Gruene Villa“
Am Treff 4
06124 Halle/Saale

Almost 50 years ago Augusto Boal and his São Paulo (Brazil) Arena Theatre team developed the Newspaper Theatre. It was to be the first technique of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO). Newspaper Theatre already took the double-edgedness of the media at the time into account. On the one hand as tool of dominance (the dictatorship controlled the media) and on the other as a weapon of resistance (influencing the media can set off a revolution).

Newspaper Theatre is used less and less in the 21st century. But not because it wouldn’t be contemporary. Augusto Boal had already pointed out that the truth shall always be manipulated by the ruling class. This was reality 50 years ago and may even be more so today. The media themselves, however, have multiplied. Radio already existed back then, TV entered the arena and today the so-called social media act as the most sophisticated means of dominance. At the same time, the media have paved the way for revolutions. E.g. in the Philippines radio helped toppling the dictator Marco, TV tipped the balance of power over against Pinochet and the new media triggered the Arab and Persian Spring revolts.
Today we observe the manipulation of the truth in many contexts: migration, gender, economy, integration, ecology, security, images of friends and foes. What role can Theatre of the Oppressed play in dealing with contemporary media? At any rate we need creative ideas and techniques to face the questions of today. During this weekend we want to adapt existing techniques and conceive new ones. The results can be implemented by activists and journalists in Germany and beyond.

The media theatre workshop/laboratory weekend is divided into a workshop on Saturday, November 12 (9.30 am – 4.30 pm), during which we want to analyse the media-industrial complex. Key areas: power relations, protagonists/antagonists, resistance.

Sunday, November 13 (10 am – 4.30 pm) is rather of laboratory nature. We want to discover and develop existing and new techniques to conceive and implement resistance strategies.

Workshop/laboratory participation doesn’t require and previous knowledge. Both workshop and laboratory will be offered in several languages, if necessary.

We will use TO techniques: Newspaper Theatre, Image Theatre, Forum Theater, Rainbow of Desire.

Participation fee: 35,00 € for both days, if possible paid in advance


Peter Igelmund (Halle)
+49 1638220830

or: Ronald Matthijssen (Wien)
+43 676 669 1477

The Joker/ Workshop Leader

Ronald Matthijssen (NL 1961) is a teacher at a university of applied sciences and a translator, and has also worked with TO for over 25 years. He was one of the core members of the Rotterdam-based TO troupe Formaat from 1999-2011. His job was both jokering and fundraising/management or/for TO projects. Since 2011 he has offered international workshops on strategy development and more recently on Media Theatre. Many publications on TO in Dutch, English, German and Spanish. Presently he lives in Vienna and is involved in the TO Vienna troupe. Website: and Media Theatre will be one of his key points of focus in the coming years.


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