The HATS method originated from the Theatre of the Oppressed, a unique and
revolutionary educational theatre method.
The Theatre of the Oppressed was developed by the Brazilian theatre director Augusto
Boal during the 1950's and 1960's and it quickly grew into a movement which spread all
over the world. Boal's technique was based on the teachings of the famous popular
educator Paulo Freire. Both have been highly influential in the development of the
politics of liberation.
Boal maintained that participatory theatre could be utilized as a powerful tool for
transforming monologue into dialogue, consequently overcoming oppression. The
method calls for short plays that are mimed. The audience is encouraged to change how
the actors have dealt with an issue in their play, and to replace an actor so that the play
can be performed again with different endings. People of diverse cultures, languages and
literacy levels are able to engage in the exploration of critical issues, share their
knowledge and experience the power of shared problem-solving.