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Augusto Boal

Courtesy: Instituto Boal.

(Río de Janeiro, Brasil, 1931 - 2009): Theater director, educator and politician. He is known for his participatory staging and revolutionary methodologies for social transformation through theater. In his creative practice, Boal conformed a dramaturgy around local themes and characters, something unprecedented until then in Brazilian theater. Throughout his years at the Arena Teatro in São Paulo, he developed his own teaching and practice methodology, which reached its peak in the Theatre of the Oppressed (1974) and which he continued in Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Portugal, and France, after his political exile. In his practice, Boal fostered democratic and cooperative forms of interaction between participants and viewers, who have the opportunity to act and to watch, while generating processes of dialogue and critical thinking. In Theatre of the Oppressed, his greatest proposition, the act is experienced as a conscious intervention against the oppressive structures of society, an essay of social action rooted in a collective analysis of collective problems.