Legislative Theatre: Using Performance to Make Politics

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415182416
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
How to read this book
The Legislative Theatre Book 3
1 History: The Theatre of the Oppressed returns to its roots - Brazil and politics 6
2 The proposition: Theatre as politics and transitive democracy as theatre 19
3 The context: How and where is this experiment being carried out? 24
4 The structure 39
5 A compact course on playwriting and theatre arts: The tools of our task 53
6 The show and the community 86
7 Laws promulgated during the mandate: And one which wasn't 102
App. i The history of the Theatre of the Oppressed nuclei 106
App. ii The dreamt future 113
App. iii Symbolism in Munich 118
The 'No-one here is an Ass!' Book 125
1 Paulo Freire, my last father 126
2 Clementina's turn 130
3 Saudades for the chicken thieves of yesteryear 133
4 Elizete: The woman and the mirror 136
5 The Devil as muse of inspiration 142
6 Resignation: Virtuous crime or criminal virtue? 146
7 Memory and the torture chamber 149
8 One hideous crime hides the hideousness of another 153
9 The Devil and the canny man 155
10 'Human rights' are human 159
11 Romeo and Juliet: A story of hatred and betrayal 164
12 The suicide of the wind 177
13 The laws of the market, the law of the lion 181
14 The show of the dream and the dream as show 187
15 Family: A playscript 195
Categories of Popular Theatre 211
1 The first category of popular theatre: By the people and for the people 213
2 The second category of popular theatre: From the popular perspective but aimed at another audience 222
3 The third category of popular theatre: From an anti-people perspective and aimed at the people - populist theatre! 227
4 The fourth category of popular theatre: Newspaper Theatre 234
Afterword: The Metamorphoses of the Devil: The individual and the twenty-first century 249
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