February 5, 2014 | Category: Blog | Author:

Methods in social change storytelling

THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED NYC: Last month I was thrilled to take a “Joker” training with the NYC branch of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC. Theatre of the Oppressed is a participatory theater method started by Augusto Boal in the early 1970s to explore social and political issues, and is now used worldwide. One technique is for actors — folks from a given community group — to play out a scene illustrating a social problem, and then invite members of the audience, as “spect-actors,” to step into scenes and replay them with different choices and endings. In this video from last year, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC does this exercise on LGBTQ youth and homelessness. Theatre of the Oppressed is a terrific example of how social justice storytelling can be fun, participatory and forward-thinking.


NARATIV E-COURSE ON STORYTELLING: Narativ is a company that trains corporations, nonprofits, and individuals on how to listen to and tell stories. In exchange for your name and email address, you get access to the workbook and six short videos they have in their free e-course. In the video above, co-founder Murray Nossell explains a fundamental principle of the Narativ method. The online course covers the notion that “Our brains are hard-wired for story,” and other principles of and obstacles to storytelling. (Read this piece on Narativ’s website about its advocacy work with the Open Society Foundations.)