What is the Theatre of Yes?
The Theatre of Yes is a theatrical methodology which aims to awaken, transform and give a voice to silenced topics and people from our society.
How did the Theatre of Yes come into being?
The Theatre of Yes came into being following this experience: when I went to watch a theatre production, made with the best intention but without any emotional quality, I left the theatre with a paternalistic feeling, “poor them, they couldn’t do any better”, although “they tried their best”. I was filled with anger, “how is it possible that the theatre, which I love most, is not only unable to empower these people but places these communities in the dark hole of paternalism”. My inside was in turmoil. Then, I thought of the key question that became the foundation of the Theatre of Yes. How can I create a theatre language that I can use with any group of people to create a quality theatre play, using personal stories? I decided that “this play will succeed in breaking down the prejudices and stereotypes, endured by people without a voice”. The Theatre of Yes was beginning to take shape.
In 2014, I founded the theatre company, Acting Now, in the United Kingdom and I started devising performances using this language. In these performances, the emotional catharsis between spectators and actors emerged. In this context, witnessing the reaction of the public, I became aware of the power of the language; the Theatre of Yes has brought training sessions to various European universities, such as Anglia Ruskin University, Bradford University, Lille University, La Casa Encendida and Centro Cultural Helénico. The internationalization of the Theatre of Yes helped me obtain international funding, that has allowed me to work all around the world, in places like Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Turkey, Germany, France and England.
Adaptation of the Theatre of Yes to the Online world
The shift from online to offline has helped the theatre expand on an international level, developing new languages, by maintaining the theatre standards associated with an online theatre. I create online theatre performances with collectives at risk, developing Theatre of Yes training programmes, as well as leading projects with various organizations.
Since online working has become the norm, I have helped organizations like Tejer Redes to adapt their process of collaborative working from an offline to an online basis through creativity. Furthermore, I am training professionals how to create an online theatre. Conducting online training through the Theatre of Yes, allows the participants to have the opportunity of getting to know other people from around the world, enabling them to experience the vitality of different cultural identities.
Axis of the Theatre of Yes
The three axes of the Theatre of Yes are:
- Working with people at risk of social exclusion, by creating theatre pieces to give a voice to stories, which have been silenced, forgotten and/or oppressed.
- Working with the performing arts of social and educational professionals. The mission of the Theatre of Yes is to extend its methodology around the world, so that many different professionals can use it in their local areas to give a voice to as many human beings as possible. We want to create an army of Yes!
- Working with organizations. As a result of programmes run by the Theatre of Yes, team members will explore, discover and reflect on silenced topics that emerge from day-to-day human relationships.
Principles of the methodology
- Breaking stereotypes and prejudices and bringing together certain groups in society who are the most forgotten, giving them a personal and social space of recognition.
- Giving a voice to the most silenced and abandoned stories from around the world.
- Creating an “army” of creative ‘Yeses’ to expand the theatre, enabling it to give a voice to the most oppressed communities in the world.
- Establishing a space where organizations, through the Theatre of Yes, are able to discover, reflect on and transform paralysed, forgotten or silenced themes.
- Expanding honesty, humility, generosity and simplicity as creative tools to heighten personal, social and political awareness.
Own values for the basis of the Theatre of yes
- Creativity. Creativity as a tool to awaken consciences, share silenced stories and transform this society. In all these years of experience I have seen how the Theatre has been an engine of change, transformation, realization, analysis, a way of forgiveness and bringing communities together.
- Empathy and collective strength. I believe in the group as a way to learn, understand, share, advance and break prejudices and stereotypes. In the groups you will find a safe, confidential and inspiring space for your learning process.
- Beauty. Beauty as a way of showing traumas, metaphorical concepts, silenced stories. The processes of the Theatre of Yes are deep and at the same time vital where this beauty helps us to reconnect, understand each other, enjoy and move forward together.
- Social justice. The work is methodical, analytical, validated by all these years of research and practical work. This work from the seriousness to use the Theatre of Yes as social justice. To give voice to those who do not have. To hear silenced stories. To help organizations in their creative transformation.
- Vitality. The positive, transformative energy that our body and its own movement give us, generating creativity. Vitality is important as a force to transform lives, relationships, or previous ideas.