Augusto Boal Brazil

Augusto Boal (b. 1931 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 2009) Catalyst and cultural revolutionary Augusto Boal has fundamentally altered global concepts of theatre. Rather than accepting pre-ordained text, Boal’s methods turn spectators into ‘spec-actors’ who intervene and change the story by inserting real issues such as exploitation, violence and corruption. His work in factories and favelas led to imprisonment, torture and exile in 1971. He published his seminal text, Theatre of the Oppressed, in 1973 and organised the first International Festival of the Theatre of the Oppressed in 1981. Returning to Brazil in 1986, Boal founded community-based performance companies, established the Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed (CTO) and published Games for Actors and Non-Actors (1992). Among others, he has worked with the Landless People’s Movement, housemaids, prison guards and prisoners, and as a member of Rio’s Council he invented ‘Legislative Theatre’ for voters, which resulted in reformed city legislation. His methodology is used in over 70 countries and, for example, to deal with conflicts in Brazil’s schools. Augusto Boal is honoured for his lifetime achievements in innovative and engaged cultural action, for his revolutionary influence on global theatre theory and practice, and for transforming theatre arts into an effective medium for dealing with conflicts.

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