Newspaper Theatre (NPT) was born as a theatrical manifesto by Arena Theater of Sao Paulo. With the 12 techniques of NPT, any group of actors and non-actors can transform any non-dramatic text (Newspapers, documents, the bible, etc.) into a critical and empathic investigation of the news. ImaginAction is currently offering Online Newspaper Theatre workshops and courses under the name cal Unlock the News.
Reading the news without any comment or commentary, detached from the context of the newspaper. The audience is less influenced by such biases as the position of the story in the paper or the headline’s size, choosing and reading of the text make it a public newspaper theatre event.
Adding information that is omitted by the newspapers is added to give a more “complete” version. This information comes from other news, research, or the knowledge we possess: The leading questions in this stage are what do we know that is not there? What is missing?
Reading two contradictory or linked stories (alternating them) to shed new light adds more in-depth explanation or provides a new dimension. Crossed reading is adding information and allows us to discover new theatrical possibilities.
When reading (or singing) a text with rhythm, we add a musical commentary, such as samba, tango, and Gregorian chant. The text is “filtered” by the new rhythm’s connotations, allowing for more critical and empathic reading.
Reading the text while adding parallel actions that show either the context in which the reported event occurred or complement the spoken story via contrasting with another activity type.
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.
Reading or acting the story together with facts or scenes that show the event in a context of other historical moments, or other countries or social systems.
Performing the text with the aid or accompaniment of reinforcing material, such as audio/visuals, jingles, advertising or publicity materials. It adds to new aesthetical dimensions and possibilities to the performance.
The 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 become concrete through theatre and embodiment. We are reclaiming the emotional impact of abstracted concepts.
Text out of context
Performing the text out of the original context, 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 battlefield)
Field interview (interrogation)
The characters from the text are interviewed on stage like the football players might be interviewed on the half time of a game—those creating an active investigation with the performance audience.
below you find a publication made post a Newspaper workshop by Uri Noy Meir and Organized by Nikolai Kunitson in 2012