Theatre is the art of looking at ourselves – Augusto Boal, Founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed
Ekawati Liu invited me to come out to Sleman, where she was doing her research into the livelihood choices of Indonesian villagers with disabilities to document a theater workshop. The performance took place on a makeshift open-air stage using only the simplest of props, in the pendhopo attached to the sub-district office in Berbah, Sleman, on the outskirts of the city of Jogja. The performers were mostly amateurs with limited experience who had come together less than a week previously to develop the concept for the play, to create a scenario, and to practice the skills required to convey their story. The performance itself worked because of the sincerity of the performers. They weren’t really acting, they were playing their own stories. But to me, the most interesting thing was the process by which they put the performance together.