In the 1960's Dr. Boal Augusto developed a process whereby audience members could stop a performance and suggest different actions for the actors, who would then act on the audience suggestions. Audience members became empowered not only to imagine change, but to generate social action. In 1971, after the publication of his first book, The Theatre of the Oppressed, Boal was arrested, tortured, exiled to Argentina and self exiled to Europe. He continued to teach his revolutionary approach to theatre, establishing several Centers for the Theatre of the Oppressed. In 1981 Boal organized the first International Festival of the Theatre of the Oppressed in Paris. In 1992 Boal ran and successfully won the position of Vereador of Rio, and developed a forum type of theatre, the Legislative Theatre, to identify key problems in the city. Using this forum concept, he employed dynamics of the theatre to discuss what kinds of legislation needed to be enacted to address community problems. The resulting discussions and demonstrations became the basis for actual legislation put forward by Boal in the Chamber of Vereadors. In 1997, Boal was awarded the Career Achievement Award by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education during their national conference.
Last Updated: 9/3/09