Wednesday, September 2, 2009
ALT carried notice last February of an upcoming workshop and theatre production in Austin sponsored by Amnesty International (AI), using techniques of Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed methodology to express opposition to capital punishment in Texas.
The event was organized to coincide with the biennial meeting of the Texas legislature, at which a subcommittee was scheduled to consider a proposal by Rep. Jessica Farrar to abolish the death penalty (House Bill 682).
John Sullivan from the Houston chapter of Amnesty International organized the project. Kelly Howe, a Ph.D. candidate at UT, and Kathleen Juhl, a professor of theatre arts at Southwestern University were the theatre practitioners. Workshops for volunteer participants were held at UT on February 8 and March 7-8, with the performance held on Sunday evening, March 8 at the Off Center.
Delia Perez-Mayer, whose brother Louis Castro-Perez is on death row in Texas, attended as a resource for participants.
Sullivan has written a lengthy account of the initiative, the methodology, and the performance, published last month on the Community Arts Network. It is also available, in a more readable format, at the Texas Death Penalty blog.
Read more at AustinLiveTheatre.com . . . .