About

SOCIAL THEATRE

Social Theatre is a tool for community empowerment and toward social justice through the use of theatre. It is an umbrella term, including such concepts as Theatre for Development, Theatre in Conflict Zones, Theatre of the Oppressed, Applied Theatre in Education, Theatre for Human Rights (focused around a community’s rights awareness and advocacy), Clown Doctoring, and many more.

 

REKA POLONYI

Trained in the UK, I have been working as a Social Theatre Practitioner and facilitator for the last few years in various countries – Ecuador, Hungary, UK, the US and France. I work in Theatre for Migrant Rights.

After graduating in Scotland, I began collaboratively learning from community theatre in Cuba (Teatro Comunitario) and Ecuador, where I was partly trained in humanitarian clowning under Carlos Gallego. My interest in participatory theatre grew with workshops I led in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Hungary, I trained as a Clown Doctor under Magyar Bohócok a Betegekért Alapítvány and collaborated with Yvette Feuer in workshops with Roma youth, a population which now faces scandalous discrimination.

With the help of London’s Central School for Speech and Drama (University of London) where I studied my Masters degree, I was able to specialise my interest in Migrant Rights with the Leverhulme Award Grant that funded a series of independent, integration-based projects that I facilitated with Colombian refugees in the northern border region of Ecuador (within a school, Community Health Centre and an all-male prison, located in the suburbs of Ibarra). This led to a commission in partnership with the Ecuadorian National Ministry of Public Health and the UNHCR (United Nations Head Commissioner for Refugees) of Ibarra, Ecuador. My workshops in Ibarra focused on rights advocacy.

Between 2011 and 2013, the community workshops that I led at Immigrant Movement International, Queens, NY, led to the founding of FRONTIERRA, a non-profit advocating migrant rights through interactive community projects presented throughout centres welcoming new immigrants. Now based in Paris, I facilitated TO theatre workshops with incarcerated youth at Fleury-Merogis in 2014, the largest prison in Europe, with the aim of reaching detention centres for migrants.

Past collaborations include Cardboard Citizens (London), Sharon Aviva-Jones and the Hampstead Theatre in working with asylum seekers (London), Theatre of the Oppressed Labratory of New York, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, independent workshops led at homeless centre 240 Project (London), ongoing workshops at Immigrant Movement International, Queens, New York, The Civilians Theatre investigative project on undocumented youth in the US, and many more inspiring organizations and individuals responsible in supporting awareness of the rights of immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced persons.

Feel free to contact me with any queries or thoughts.

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