This dynamic book offers a comprehensive companion to the theory and practice of Theatre of the Oppressed. Developed by Brazilian director and theorist Augusto Boal, these theatrical forms invite people to mobilize their knowledge and rehearse struggles against oppression.
Featuring a diverse array of voices (many of them as yet unheard in the academic world), the book hosts dialogues on the following questions, among others:
- Why and how did Theatre of the Oppressed develop?
- What are the differences between the 1970s (when Theatre of the Oppressed began) and today?
- How has Theatre of the Oppressed been shaped by local and global shifts of the last 40-plus years?
- Why has Theatre of the Oppressed spread or "multiplied" across so many geographic, national, and cultural borders?
- How has Theatre of the Oppressed been shaped by globalization, "development," and neoliberalism?
- What are the stakes, challenges, and possibilities of Theatre of the Oppressed today?
- How can Theatre of the Oppressed balance practical analysis of what is with ambitious insistence on what could be?
- How can Theatre of the Oppressed hope, but concretely?
Broad in scope yet rich in detail, The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed contains practical and critical content relevant to artists, activists, teachers, students, and researchers.
Table of Contents
Editor and Contributor Biographies
Introduction: Theatre of the Oppressed and its Time(s)
Kelly Howe, Julian Boal, and José Soeiro
PART ONE: ROOTS
New York and After: Gassner, Realism, and the "Method"
Teatro de Arena, Brazil, Boal: Between Farces and Allegories
Augusto Boal and the Nuestra América (Our America) Theatre
Agitprop and Theatre of the Oppressed
Iná Camargo Costa
Epic Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed: Brecht and, Modestly, [Boal]
Jorge Louraço Figueira
Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal: Praxis, Poetry, and Utopia
Theatre of the Oppressed as a Dialectical Game?
José Soeiro and Julian Boal
Constraints and Possibilities in the Flesh: The Body in Theatre of the Oppressed
Contradictions of Theatre of the Oppressed
Sergio de Carvalho
Identities, Otherness, and Emancipation in Theatre of the Oppressed
Julian Boal and José Soeiro
Three Examples of Tangled Systems of Oppression
Capitalism and Environmental Destruction
Racism, Colonialism, Imperialism
Patriarchy and Heteronormativity
From Roots to Branches
Games: Demechanization and Serious Fun
An interview with Cora Fairstein, Birgit Fritz, and Roberto Mazzini
Newspaper Theatre: The Oldest Branch of TO in the Post-Print Present
Image Theatre: A Liberatory Practice for "Making Thought Visible"
Alexander Santiago-Jirau and S. Leigh Thompson
Invisible Theatre: From Origins to Current Uses
Rafael Villas Bôas
Forum Theatre: A Dramaturgy of Collective Questioning
An interview with Inês Barbosa, Vanesa Camarda, and Paul Dwyer
The Rainbow of Desire: Boal and Doubt
Legislative Theatre: Can Theatre Reinvent Politics?
Aesthetics of the Oppressed: Self-Criticism and Re-Foundation of Theatre of the Oppressed
PART TWO: GROUND SHIFTS
Changing Landscapes in Late Capitalism
Neoliberalism and the Alternative of the Common
Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval
Indignant Democracy: Problems of Legitimization in Neoliberal Capitalism
Juan Carlos Monedero
Art and the Wreckage
Critical Reflections on the Early Multiplication of Theatre of the Oppressed
The Difficult Exile in Argentina, or The "Sabbatical Year" of Boal
An interview with Cecilia Thumim Boal
Dialectics of Theatre of the Oppressed During Augusto Boal’s Portuguese Exile
Paulo Bio Toledo
The Beginnings of Theatre of the Oppressed in France
Theatre of the Oppressed, Not Theatre for the Oppressed:
Origins of Jana Sanskriti and Evolutions of TO in India
An interview with Sanjoy Ganguly
Early Conferences in the US: PTO and its Roots in the Academy
Theatre of the Oppressed in Senegal: TO "Proposed That We Dare Ourselves to Dream"
An interview with Mamadou Diol
PART THREE: CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE
Theatre of the Oppressed in Neoliberal Times: From Che Guevara to the Uber Driver
Workshops: The Modularization of TO Pedagogy
An interview with Sruti Bala
Gatherings: Between Market Pressure and "Critical Generosity"
An interview with Aleksandar Bancic, Ezequiel Basualdo, and Amarílis Felizes
Political Organizations: La Dignidad--Theatre and Politics in Movement
Escuela de Teatro Político
Schools: Theatre of the Oppressed with Youth
Charles N. Adams, Jr.
NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations): Challenges and Limitations
Therapy: Theatre of the Oppressed and/as Therapeutic Praxis
An interview with Brent Blair, Iwan Brioc, and Mady Schutzman
Community: Notion and Feeling, Goal and Strategy
A dialogue with Chen Alon, Sonja Arsham Kuftinec, and Jan Cohen-Cruz
Academia: Theatre of the Oppressed in Colleges and Universities
An interview with Charles N. Adams, Jr., Dani Snyder-Young, and Alessandro Tolomelli
Practices in Context
Jana Sanskriti: Continuous Presence, Aesthetical Rigor, and Political and Social Movement
Féminisme-Enjeux: Challenges and Paradoxes of a Feminist Theatre of the Oppressed Company
Peles Negras, Máscaras Negras (Black Skins, Black Masks): Maria 28, Racism, and Domestic Work
chullage and raquel
MSTB (Roofless Movement of Bahia): An Experience of Theatre and Struggle
Fernanda Moscoso de Jesus Sousa, Leila Kissia D’Andreamatteo, Nivaldo Souza Ferreira, and Theo da Rocha Barreto
Forn de teatre Pa'tothom: A Space for Projects, Training, and Social Struggle
GTO Montevideo: A Theatre Within a Campaign
National Egyptian Project for Theatre of the Oppressed and the Arab Network of Theatre of the Oppressed
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC: Radical Partnerships On the Ground in New York City
Message by Augusto Boal, World Theatre Day, 2009
List of Selected Key Terms
Kelly Howe is a teacher/writer/activist based at Loyola University Chicago. She served twice as president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) and co-organized three of its conferences. She also co-edited Theatre of the Oppressed in Actions with Julian Boal and Scot McElvany.
Julian Boal is a well-known Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner who has realized workshops in more than 25 countries around the world. He recently completed his PhD, entitled "On Old Forms in New Times: Theatre of the Oppressed Today, Between a 'Rehearsal of Revolution' and Interactive Training for the Victims".
José Soeiro is a Portuguese sociologist, political activist, and researcher. He is currently a Member of Parliament. He was responsible for "Estudantes por Empréstimo," the first Legislative Theatre project in Portugal, and is one of the organizers of Óprima!—a Gathering of Theatre of the Oppressed and Activism.