From: "Augusto Boal"
Sent: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 10:16:33 -0300
Subject: Theatre for Children and Young People
Tomorrow it will be the International Day of the Theatre for Children and Young
People. The Association of groups that do this form of theatre has invited
Augusto Boal, our Artistic Director, to write a text to be read before their
shows, in 75 countries where they have their branches. We thought that maybe you
would like to read it. Here it goes. Best wishes,
MARIA DA GRAÇA
Secretária do Centro do Teatro do Oprimido
Av. Mem de Sá, 31 - LAPA - Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Tel/fax: O05521- 2232-5826 / 2215-0503
Visit the Yellow Pages of Theatre of the Oppressed
The worst enemy of Peace is Passivity!
International Theatre for Children and Young People World Day, March 20, 2004.
World Day message by Augusto Boal
WE ARE ALL YOUNG, WE ARE ALL CHILDREN!
As long as we live, we continue to be of all ages that we have lived through. I
am 7 years old, and I am 70, too. I am a child, I am a young man, and I am also
a not so young one.
Since I was only seven, I have never stopped doing theatre. But many people do.
Why should they stop? It makes no sense!
Theatre is the most powerful language, the most creative, simply because it is
the summing up of all languages: theatre is words, movement, colors, music,
realities and dreams, emotions and ideas...As children, we have learned how to
live... by playing theatre. We have learned to understand the world... by
By playing theatre, we also learn that the world can be made much better than it
is: in the present, we can think about the past, and invent the future.
Theatre is Dialogue. You cannot play alone, in a desert: you need a partner to
play with, you need people to watch you. Theatre is solidarity: you have to play
Games, in theatre, have rules that you have to obey, and also freedom to invent
your own way. Games are just like Society: there are Laws that must be
respected, but we must have freedom to create our own life. Without laws there
is no social life; without freedom, there is no life.
The good citizen is not the one who merely lives in a Society: it is she or he
who changes it to make it better. Theatre can be the means through which you
become a citizen, a place where you imagine a future world. But pay attention:
Happiness cannot be individual, only. Like theatre, true happiness is social -
we cannot be happy making other people suffer. Happiness shall be you and me,
our family and our country, happiness shall be the entire world, all nations,
all races, all creeds, all ages, all humans - Happiness is Dialogue.
Theatre is something to watch, yes, but it is also something deep inside you,
inside all of us: we are theatres! That is our language since we were born.
Those of you, who are children today, know that this is true; the children that
we all have inside ourselves know that, too.
Today is a special day: the Day of Theatre for Children and for Young People.
Let´s make it to be the Day to remind ourselves that we shall never stop doing
theatre, because it is by playing games that we learn how to play life; being
solidarity in theatre is how we learn solidarity.
We should never forget that to be human is to be Theatre, and to be theatre is
to be Human.
Let us see this play today, and let us never stop being theatre!
Augusto Boal, a theatre worker, Brazil
A very impressive message, and one that activists should start listening to more carefully.