Some of the terms and names we use are fairly specific and may require further explanation.
Who is Augusto Boal?
A Brazilian theatre practitioner, director, writer and activist who, in a career spanning over 40 years, has developed a body of theatrical techniques known collectively as the Theatre of the Oppressed which is now practiced in many countries all over the world. Sadly he passed away in May 2009, aged 78.
What is the Theatre of the Oppressed?
This is the collective name for the body of theatrical techniques created by Augusto Boal. Influenced by radical educationalist Paulo Freire, Boal sees theatre as a collaborative, educational and political process. Unlike traditional theatre, the Theatre of the Oppressed enables spectators to engage with the theatrical action and use theatre as a rehearsal for reality. The Theatre of the Oppressed includes Image Theatre, Forum Theatre, Invisible Theatre, Rainbow of Desire and Legislative Theatre.
What is Image Theatre?
A selection of techniques which enable participants to explore oppressive situations and relationships through creating theatrical images and then bringing these to life in a variety of ways. Image Theatre normally forms the basis of most of the other techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed.
What is Forum Theatre?
A unique form of theatre that transforms spectators into actors by enabling them to step into, and change, the theatrical action encouraging debate and asking questions so that an audience can learn collectively.
What is Invisible Theatre?
A form of theatre that takes place in a public space without people realising they are watching theatre! Actors interact with people making them engage in debates and ask questions.
What is Rainbow of Desire?
The overall name for the body of techniques Boal developed whilst in exile in Europe. These techniques are used to examine internal oppressions that people carry in their heads and, crucially, ask where these oppressions came from.
What is Legislative Theatre?
In 1992, Boal was elected as a councillor for Rio de Janiero and developed Legislative Theatre as a way of using Forum Theatre to enable law-making to be more democratic and to identify laws that needed to be changed in order to overcome oppression. Many laws were passed using this process.