From Boal to Jana Sanskriti: Practice and Principles: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

From Boal to Jana Sanskriti: Practice and Principles

1st Edition

By Sanjoy Ganguly

Edited by Ralph Yarrow


154 pages

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Hardback: 9781138223325
pub: 2016-08-31
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315405063
pub: 2016-08-12
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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Author/Editor

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRAMA / Asian
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General