Community in the past. Community theatre isn’t only

 Community theatre is a type of performance that is created by either
people from a local community or others and is intended for members of a
community. However the ways a performance is made and how much input the
community have, is different depending on the situation.

A community
theatre should include, a play based on the memories and heritage of a
region or industrial site or group of people. The performances from the
street culture and experiences of young people are often done to educate people
about others backgrounds and are also used to entertain younger people. There
are also drama workshops in prisons which are done to give prisoners a
creative outlet and to give them a new way to deal with there
problems, there are performances which explore women’s experiences
from a feminist perspective which are done to show how unfairly they have been
treated in the past. Community theatre isn’t only focused on the local history
but also modern day issues that are relevant.

Community theatre
is made to be preformed anywhere in a community like in a community centre, a
park, a school, festivals, a hospice, a car park, a shopping centre, a theatre,
a hospital, a church, a town centre or a care home.

Two people who
were very influential in the development of community theatre were Augusto Boal
and Joan Littlewood. These two people had different styles and ways to go about
community theatre. Augusto Boal created a type of community theatre known as
theatre of oppression in this the audience was actually involved in the
performance after preforming they would ask the audience to change the
performance that the ending was different. They’d start by having the
performance be about a person being sad and oppressed about something in their
life or the situation that they’re in then after doing the performance they’d
go back and do it again however they’d ask the audience to change something about
the scene to make the ending a happy one. Another part of theatre of oppression
is image theatre this performance technique where one person acts as a
sculptor who then moulds one or more people who are acting as statues. This
form of theatre can be one of the most stimulating because of how easy it is to
do and its ability to portray thought in a concrete form and by having none of
the actors use language to express their selves it makes it so the actors can
only use their facial expressions and movements to show emotion. Another type
of theatre that Augusto Boal used was newspaper theatre in this they would use
stories from newspapers and preform them to people on the street to educate
people on the events going on so that people who didn’t read the newspaper or
didn’t watch the news would know about the events going on in the world. Some
of the techniques used in this were simply reading in which a news item is
detached from the context of the newspaper which makes the text seem false or
controversial.

However Joan
Littlewood would take a different approach to community theatre she would take
something controversial like war or stabbings and make it comedic so that the
audience wouldn’t know whether to laugh or take the issue seriously. She did
this to make people think about the events going on in the world she would also
use gangsters and prostitutes as actors in her performances to show that anyone
could be an actor no matter what their background was.

Joan Littlewood
would use an acting style known as clowning around where all of the actors
would portray clowns serious situations making them seem no longer serious but
as a joker this was used to make the audience uncomfortable because they
wouldn’t know if they were supposed to laugh. Joan Littlewood also used the
style of newspaper theatre like Augusto Boal did expect instead of having the
audience change it she’d make whatever the news article was funny even though
the original article was meant to be taken seriously.

Both Joan
Littlewood and Augusto Boal used community theatre to bring people together to
promote community cohesion they both wanted to educate people on the events of
the world and how they could respond to them. Augusto chose to have the
audience see the seriousness of a situation and then have them change the
situation so that it had a happy ending this would let the audience have a
voice in how the performance ends this also allows them to see and think about
how they could help to change different situations. However Joan Littlewood took
a different approach to this she would take serious events that were going on
and make them comedic this was to make the audience laugh at the situation and
then feel bad for laughing afterwards realising that what they laughed at was
serious and not a laughing matter. This would make the audience confused on
about how they felt on what they’d just seen in turn this would lead to the
audience members thinking about what they’d just seen making them think about
something in the news they may have not seen or really thought about until
after watching the performance.

In conclusion
community theatre is a very important thing it helps to entertain people as
well as educate them on certain issues in the community they may not have
thought or cared about before it also helps to bring people both young and old
together which ends up promoting community cohesion. It also gives younger
people a positive activity to do with their spare time which can make it so
they stay off the streets and makes it so they don’t do illegal things like
drugs and it also gives them a creative outlet to express themselves with, it
can also make it so that they learn about different cultures and their
backgrounds as well as the local history of where they live. And for older
people seeing people do a performance about the local history it can help them
to remember what it was like when they may have been growing up giving them a
pleasant feeling of both nostalgia of when they were younger and joy that
younger people are taking an interest in what the community used to be like.
Community theatre isn’t just used to show the history of the area that theyre
performing in it’s also used to tackle subjects like sexuality, mental illness,
crime and drugs. Community theatre is something which will always be needed to
entertain and educate people of all ages and to bring people together.

There are many different local ways to get into community
theatre such as local companies like Stagecoach who teach students from ages four to
eighteen about acting, singing and dancing and have been active for thirty
years so they have a lot of experience when it comes to teaching people about the
performing arts. They mostly focus on the performing aspect of community
theatre rather than the technical aspects of it and they don’t have any adults
performing which is very different from the Hasland Theatre Company which is a
theatre company in has land and is a long lasting group. The Hasland Theatre Company have been performing since
1944 and are an amateur theatre group that perform exclusively in their own one
hundred seat theatre which is called The Playhouse. They perform five
different shows each season and welcome new members and they don’t just look
for actors they also look for people to help out with things like lighting,
sound and the other backstage and technical side of their performances so they
don’t just focus on the performing side of community theatre they also need
people for the technical side and again seeing as they put on their own shows
this makes them different form another performing arts company the pomegranate
theatre. The pomegranate theatre which has a youth theatre for people ages seven to twenty five the
members of this youth theatre are able to experience the many different parts of
stagecraft in weekly workshops which are run by experienced
facilitators the workshops that are put on help to promote teamwork
as well as social skills, confidence and creativity. This youth theatre
regularly puts on performances at the pomegranate and in other local areas
including festivals, outside and at schools these performances explore relevant
issues that relate to people in the local area. They also let different touring
companies perform using their stage because they are a receiving house this
makes them different from other community theatre companies because this makes
it so that members of the community are able to see different types of
performances and different styles that the companies that use the pomegranates
stage use. So there’s many different types of performing arts companies which
appeal to different groups of people in communities  while some performances may not interest certain
people a different community theatre performance on a different topic may
interest them a lot more and make them more interested in what has happened and
what goes on in their community.