Is the fundamental relationship between an actor and an audience an equal and active one, or is it a situation that encourages passivity and division? This is the question at the heart of Augusto Boal's revolutionary Theatre of the Oppressed, originally published in 1979. Boal, a Brazilian artist and activist, has written a work that challenges the very premise of Western theater, starting with Aristotle and the first dramatists, and explores what social constructs lie behind the traditional theater form. Then, having explained such often invoked (but rarely scrutinized) terms as imitation, tragedy, and justice, he puts forward a new type of drama that bridges the long-existing gap between theater and politics. Central to his thesis is an attempt to bring spectators into an active role with the drama, encouraging them to comment on the social situations they see presented and suggest potentials for change. Other chapters explore the writings of Hegel and Brecht, along with a lengthy analysis of one of the most profound political thinkers to ever pen a play, Machiavelli and his bitter comedy Mandragola. Boal's book is a challenging one for American actors often politically naive and heavily schooled in the traditions of Stanislavsky-based "naturalism," but this text is vital reading for activists, progressives, and all artists trying to effect social change. --John Longenbaugh
'One of the most revered figures in world theatre ... the liberation theologian of theatre.' The Guardian 'Should be read by everyone in the world of theatre who has any pretensions at all to political commitment.' John Arden'So remarkable, so original and so ground-breaking that I have no hesitation in describing the book as the most important theoretical work on the theatre in modern times.' George Wellwarth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Anyone interested in understanding how theater and, by extension, film and televison play a vital role in maintaining the status quo, should read Auguto Boal's book. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Eazier Reader
Not really my cup of tea - too abstract for me and some of it I
had read or heard before.
Once again I wish to appreciate you people for a job Weldon.My package arrived earlier than I thought and I was astonished. Read morePublished on July 19, 2013 by Chukwukelue Umenyilorah
I bought this book for my husband who is in education as well as an aspiring playwright. He's always been interested in how theatre can have social impact, and this book addresses... Read morePublished on May 28, 2010 by Lark