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Legislative Theatre: Using Performance to Make Politics Paperback – November 12, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0415182416 ISBN-10: 0415182417 Edition: 1st
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Legislative Theatre: Using Performance to Make Politics + The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy + Games for Actors and Non-Actors, 2nd Edition
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Boal is a Brazilian activist who has devoted his career to effecting social change through theater. This book is an account of his most recent efforts, especially during his term as a legislator. Growing out of his Theatre of the Oppressed, an international theater movement giving artistic and social voice to the otherwise voiceless, Legislative Theatre is an interactive dramaturgy. Working locally, Boal gets citizens to articulate their concerns by developing plays that are then presented locally and to larger audiences. The consequence of performance is a theatrical response from the audience, the re-actor. The discussion that follows can lead to proposed legislation addressing the concerns that generated the play in the first place. According to the author, this forms a social bond, causes discussion, and results in action. His book is also interactive, seeking responses from readers to help produce a finished work. This loosely organized how-to is filled out with speeches, articles, plays, and anecdotes. Recommended for theater history and theory collections.?Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


You have achieved what Brecht only dreamt of and wrote about: making a useful theatre that is entertaining, fun and instructive. It is a different kind of theatre -- a kind of social therapy... it focuses the mind, relaxes the spirit, and gives people a new handle on their situations..
–Richard Schechner on Boal

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 12, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415182417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415182416
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
In his latest text, Boal describes his newest theatrical innovation, Legislative Theatre. The idea is new (and exciting)- why not ask the people to share their concerns about government, in order to bring about reform? Boal's method of doing this is (naturally) through theatrical forms and expression. This is a natural progression for Boal, who was himself a member of the government of Rio de Janeiro in the early nineties, and has been involved in reinventing theatre as a form of social empowerment for much longer than this. As well as describing the techniques and the (rather disturbing) context in which they were developed and trialled, Boal also invites contribution from the reader - in a sense, breaking down the 'monologue' of the printed text, inviting and continuing the dialogue begun with earlier works and techniques. An essential read in the context of Boal's achievements.
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By Amy Scheer on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yet another branch of the great system of Theatre of the Oppressed. In this book, Boal details his unique way of using actors to define the contents of bills to pass through the Brazilian Parliament, of which he was a legislator. The work is similar to another branch of TO--Forum--and this book focuses less on the actual making of the scenes (don't expect the plethora of acting games found in his other books) and more on navigating the political environment surrounding the bill in question, though a script for one of the plays is provided.

The book also contains various speeches or essays Boal gave in his time as vereador, notably one that references the time he was tortured as a political prisoner.

Every book by Boal is a gem, a hodge podge of English and Portugese that somehow all work together to represent this great man and his revolutionary ideas.
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