"Playing Boal" is the first book in English to examine the dramatic techniques of Augusto Boal, internationally renowned Brazilian theatre maker, political activist and founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed. Influenced by Paulo Freire's dialogic philosophy of education, Boal's dramatic techniques are designed to transform passive spectators into engaged participants working for personal and social change. Educators, political activists, therapists and social workers devoted to critical thought and action have used his techniques to address issues ranging from racism and sexism to loneliness and political impotence.
"Playing Boal" looks at the use of Theatre of the Oppressed exercises by a variety of practitioners and scholars working in Europe and North America. It explores the possibilities of these tools for active learning and personal empowerment, cooperative education and healing, participatory theatre and community action.
A fascinating collection, "Playing Boal" will encourage discussion about Augusto Boal's work and the transformative potential of theatre. It also includes two interviews with Boal and two pieces of his own writing, making it the most comprehensive and in-depth volume to date on Boal's work.
Contributors include Philip Auslander, Alistair Campbell, David Diamond, Daniel Feldhendler, Berenice Fisher, Julie Salverson, Richard Schechner, Pam Schweitzer, Lib Spry and Michael Taussig.
"This marvelous collection of material, assembled and arranged by Jan Cohen-Cruz and Mady Schutzman, truly goes from the entry level--sort of Basic Boal--to extremely interesting practical applications that are very useful. It also addresses with great vigour the broader political and social questions raised by Boal's work. This collection is urgently welcome."
-Douglas L. Paterson, Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts, University of Nebraska at Omaha
"This book is a necessary and timely addition to the study of the range of theatre techniques known as "Theatre of the Oppressed" and its founder, the Brazilian theatre director and political activist, Augusto Boal. It tries to accommodate both those completely new to "Theatre of the Oppressed" as well as those engaged in a more detailed professional and/or academic involvement with the work."
-"Theatre Research International
"This book is a must for anyone concerned about performance in conjunction with politics, activism, therapy, and/or community work--or for anyone interested in the application of theory to performance practice."