Using Performance to Make Politics
By Augusto Boal
Translated by Adrian Jackson
Routledge – 1998 – 272 pages
Augusto Boal's reputation is now moving beyond the realms of theatre and drama therapy, bringing him to the attention of a wider public. Legislative Theatre is the latest and most remarkable stage in his work. 'Legislative Theatre' is an attempt to use Boal's method of 'Forum Theatre' within a political system to create a truer form of democracy. It is an extraordinary experiment in the potential of theatre to affect social change.
At the heart of his method of Forum Theatre is the dual meaning of the verb 'to act': to perform and to take action. Forum Theatre invites members of the audience to take the stage and decide the outcome, becoming an integral part of the performance. As a politician in his native Rio de Janeiro, Boal used Forum Theatre to motivate the local populace in generating relevant legislation. In Legislative Theatre Boal creates new, theatrical, and truly revolutionary ways of involving everyone in the democratic process.
This book includes:
* a full explanation of the genesis and principles of Legislative Theatre
* a description of the process in operation in Rio
* Boal's essays, speeches and lectures on popular theatre, Paolo Freire, cultural activism, the point of playwrighting, and much else besides.