A Boal Companion : Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics book cover
1st Edition

A Boal Companion
Dialogues on Theatre and Cultural Politics

ISBN 9780415322942
Published January 13, 2006 by Routledge
224 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $10.59
was $52.95
USD $42.36

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This carefully constructed and thorough collection of theoretical engagements with Augusto Boal’s work is the first to look ’beyond Boal’ and critically assesses the Theatre of the Opressed (TO) movement in context.

A Boal Companion looks at the cultural practices which inform TO and explore them within a larger frame of cultural politics and performance theory. The contributors put TO into dialogue with complexity theory – Merleau-Ponty, Emmanuel Levinas, race theory, feminist performance art, Deleuze and Guattari, and liberation psychology – to name just a few, and in doing so, the kinship between Boal’s project and multiple fields of social psychology, ethics, biology, comedy, trauma studies and political science is made visible.

The ideas generated throughout A Boal Companion will:

  • expand readers' understanding of TO as a complex, interdisciplinary, multivocal body of philosophical discourses
  • provide a variety of lenses through which to practice and critique TO
  • make explicit the relationship between TO and other bodies of work.

This collection is ideal for TO practitioners and scholars who want to expand their knowledge, but it also provides unfamiliar readers and new students to the discipline with an excellent study resource.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Politics and Performance(s) of Identity: Twenty-five Years of Brazilian Theatre (1954-79) Section 1: Sites  Political Theatre: Staging the Political: Boal and the Horizons of Theatrical Commitment  Pedagogy: Critical Interventions: The Meaning of Praxis  Activism: Tactical Carnival: Social Movement, Demonstrations, and Dialogical Performance  Therapy: Social Healing and Liberatory Politics: A Roundtable Discussion  Legislating: Performing Democracy in the Streets: Participatory Budgeting and Legislative Theatre in Brazil  Section 2: Tropes  Art and Everyday Life: Action in Feminist Performance Art  Storytelling: Redefining the Private: From Personal Storytelling to Political Act  Metaxis: Metaxis: Dancing (in) the In-Between  Aesthetic Space: Aesthetics Space/Imaginative Geographies  Jok(er)ing: Joker Runs Wild  Witnessing: Witnessing Subjects: A Fool’s Help  Section 3: Ideologies  Postcolonial Theory: Re-envisioning Theatre, Activism, and Citizenship in Neocolonial Contexts  Feminist Theory: Negotiating Feminist Identities and Theatre of the Oppressed  RaceTheory: Unperforming "Race": Strategies for Re-Imagining Identity  Notes on Contributors  Index

View More



Jan Cohen-Cruz wrote Local Acts: Community-based Performance in the US, edited Radical Street Performance, and, with Mady Schutzman, co-edited Playing Boal: Theatre, Therapy, Activism. She is an associate professor at NYU where she teaches in the Drama and the Art and Public Policy Departments.

Mady Schutzman is author of The Real Thing: Performance, hysteria, and advertising, and co-editor, with Jan Cohen-Cruz, of Playing Boal: Theatre, therapy, activism. She teaches at California Institute of the Arts and is an advisory board member of L.A. Center for Theatre of the Oppressed.


Jan Cohen-Cruz and Mady Schutzman hosted Boal at NYU in 1987-88, brought a group of 20 cultural practitioners to Rio de Janeiro for 3 weeks to study with Boal in 1989, and co-edited Playing Boal: Theatre, therapy, activism in 1994.


'[An] engaging collection of essays ... a fine contribution.' – Contemporary Theatre Review