The 12 Techniques of Newspaper Theatre

The techniques are the ways that Boal suggested to transform non dramatic text
into performance (Newspapers, documents, the bible, etc.). These techniques are in
mind also can be seen as different steps to take while deconstructing a text with a
group of actors and non-actors.
Simple reading
The news item is read without comment or commentary, but it is detached from the
context of the newspaper. The audience is therefore not influenced by such biases as
the position of the story in the paper, or the size of the headline.
This technique is the simplest and also the first step of any text transformation, the
choosing and reading of a in a group text already makes it theater and takes it out of
the original context of written text in a newspaper, internet page, book, or any other
Complementary reading
The news item is read, but information generally omitted by the newspapers is
added to give a more “complete” version. This additional information can be sourced
from other news, research, or the knowledge possess in the group: The leading
questions in this stage are what do we know that is not there? What is left out of?
Crossed reading
Two contradictory or linked stories are read in crossed (alternating) form to shed
new light on each story, add deeper explanation or provide a new dimension.
Crossed reading is also an important step of the process putting an article or text in
the context of other texts adding new information and material for a performance.
Rhythmical reading
The news item is read (or sung) with a rhythm as a musical commentary, for
example: samba, tango, Gregorian chant. The news item is then “filtered” by the
connotations of the new rhythm.
Parallel action
The item is read, while parallel actions are mimed to show either the context in
which the reported event really occurred, or to complement the spoken story.
The news is improvised on stage to explore/exploit variants and possibilities. It is
open to re-playing, and suggestion and involvement from the audience.
Historical reading
The news item is read, together with facts or scenes that show the same event in
other historical moments, or other countries or social systems.
The news item is read or sung with the aid or accompaniment of reinforcing
material, such as audio/visuals, jingles, advertising or publicity materials.
Concretion of the abstract
Revealing on-stage what the news often hides or masks beneath clichés, over-used
terms or matter-of-fact reporting. Concepts such as torture, hunger, unemployment
are shown concretely. Graphic imagery, real or symbolic, is used to reclaim the
emotional impact of abstracted concepts.
Text out of context
The news item is presented out of the context in which it was published, for example
an actor portraying the Prime Minister delivers a speech about austerity while
devouring a huge dinner. The truth behind the words is demystified, for example the
PM wants austerity for the people, but not for him/herself.
Insertion into the actual context
In this technique we bring the text into the real context in which the problem
happens (for example an article describing a war is conducted in a theatrical
Integration or field interview (the lost technique)
This technique only appears in a review from 1971 as part of the techniques. It
relates to the concept of hot-seating in which you ask questions for the character to
deepen it. This is also used to create a dynamic investigation with the audience on
Taken from a publication made post a Newspaper workshop by Uri Noy Meir and Organized by Nikolai Kunitson in 2012
video from workshop

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