The Workshop

Having investigated jokers and jokes of all kinds—trickster, clown, dummies and baubles, stand-up comedy, vaudeville-like routines—I discovered methods and theories and strategies that bore fascinating resemblances with those of Augusto Boal. In the spirit of exploiting the curious intersections, I brought a dozen people together (most of whom were familiar with Theater of the Oppressed) to translate trickster philosohy and antics into Boalian language, and to expand Boalian language to incorporate trickster. During the 5 hour workshop we experimented with writing exercises and on-our-feet exercises.

Below are a few of the questions that I posed and the exercises that we experimented with in response:

Exercise 1:
What does it mean to move the boundary line? What is the action?

Exercise 2:
How can we use notions of approximation as the basis of a strategy of resistance?

Exercise 3:
Might there be some value in performing willful misreadings as a way to play with the idea that tricksters/jokers like to be where the action is—and if there isn't any, they create some?

Exercise 4:
What technique can we invent that would bring out the meaning and potency of the tarot joker with 11 heads?

Exercise 5:
What would happen if the irrational, unrestrained, amoral kind of joker/trickster (as in outspoken ventriloquist's dummy) entered the scene?