1st Edition

From Boal to Jana Sanskriti: Practice and Principles

By Sanjoy Ganguly, Ralph Yarrow Copyright 2017
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    Jana Sanskriti is internationally recognised as the most iconic post-Boalian Theatre of the Oppressed operation in the world today.

    This fully illustrated book by the Bengali company's founder and artistic director Sanjoy Ganguly, edited by Ralph Yarrow, collects and explains their programme of workshop exercises, placing them in the context of their social and activist work. A set of interviews with Ganguly complements these practical sequences, drawing in topics such as the role of the joker, the nature of development, participation and agency, aesthetics as transformation, and Theatre of the Oppressed in the context of a market economy.

    Foreword Eugène van Erven

    Preface Ralph Yarrow

    PART 1: Workshops Sanjoy Ganguly

    Developing Boal’s Games into Social Metaphors

    Index of Exercises

    Introductory Exercises

    1. While Walking

    2. Feel the Protagonist

    3. Express Emotion

    4. Variation, Finding Oppression

    5. Indian Parliament

    6. Fish Society

    7. Game of Power

    8. Expression with Body


    1. Joint Sculpture

    2. Circles of Emotion

    3. Sculpting in Pairs, plus Variation


    1. Human Knot, plus Variation

    2. Variations of Grandma’s Footsteps

      1. The Deer and the Tiger

      2. Crossing the Border

    1. Spontaneous Group Sculptures

    2. Development of Status Game


    1. Forum in a circle

    2. Variation on Columbian Hypnosis, plus further Variation

    3. Blind Game

    4. Storytelling


    1. Catch in the Circle

    2. Newspaper Theatre

    3. Points of Contact

    4. Invisible Friend

    5. Soundscape and Images

    6. Characters’ Stories


    1. Moving as Still Image

    2. Experiencing the Lives of Others

    3. Glass Cobra becomes Trade Union Game


    PART 2: Interviews with Sanjoy Ganguly and short essays

    1. Interview by Robert Klement

      Interview by Robyn Kirkby

      Interview by Clément Poutot

      Interview by Joschka Kȍck

      Interview by Clément Poutot, on Vivekananda

      Sanjoy Ganguly: The Political Aesthetic of Jana Sanskriti: Theatre

    2. as an Art of Creating Connection

      Coda: Sanjoy Ganguly: ‘Aesthetics as Transformation’

      Postscript: Sanjoy Ganguly: A critical space: Forum, Jokering and the problem of sympathy

      Letters from Augusto Boal and Sanjoy Ganguly


    Sanjoy Ganguly is the founder and Artistic Director of the Jana Sanskriti Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed, in West Bengal, India; considered by Boal the chief exponents of his methodology outside his native Brazil. He is the author of Jana Sanskriti: Forum theatre and democracy in India (2010).

    Ralph Yarrow is Emeritus Professor of Drama and Comparative Literature at the University of East Anglia.