Cover image for Legislative theatre : using performance to make politics
Legislative theatre : using performance to make politics
Boal, Augusto.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Teatro legislativo. English
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, [1998]

Physical Description:
xiv, 254 pages ; 26 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PN2051 .B6413 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A further stage in the Boal project, this is an attempt to use theatre within a political system to create a truer form of democracy. It is an experiment in the potential of theatre to affect social change. At the heart of Boal's method of forum theatre is the dual meaning of the verb to act: to perform, and to take action. This text creates theatrical ways of involving everyone in the democratic process. It includes: a full explanation of the genesis and principles of legislative theatre; a description of the process in operation in Rio; and Boal's essays, speeches and lectures on popular theatre, Paolo Freire, cultural activism, the point of playwrighting, and more.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
How to Read This Bookp. ix
Prologuep. 3
1 Historyp. 6
2 The Propositionp. 19
3 The Contextp. 24
4 The Structurep. 39
5 A Compact Course on Playwriting and Theatre Artsp. 53
6 The Show and the Communityp. 86
7 Laws Promulgated During the Mandatep. 102
Appendicesp. 106
The 'No-One Here is an Ass!' Bookp. 123
Prologuep. 125
1 Paulo Freire, My Last Fatherp. 126
2 Clementina's Turnp. 130
3 For the Chicken Thieves of Yesteryearp. 133
4 Elizetep. 136
5 The Devil as Muse of Inspirationp. 142
6 Resignationp. 146
7 Memory and the Torture Chamberp. 149
8 One Hideous Crime Hides the Hideousness of Anotherp. 153
9 The Devil and the Canny Manp. 155
10 'Human Rights' Are Humanp. 159
11 Romeo and Julietp. 164
12 The Suicide of the Windp. 177
13 The Laws of the Market, the Law of the Lionp. 181
14 The Show of the Dream and the Dream as Showp. 187
15 Familyp. 195
Categories of Popular Theatrep. 209
Prologuep. 211
1 The First Category of Popular Theatrep. 213
2 The Second Category of Popular Theatrep. 222
3 The Third Category of Popular Theatrep. 227
4 The Fourth Category of Popular Theatrep. 234
Afterword: the Metamorphoses of the Devilp. 247
The Individual and the Twenty-First Centuryp. 249

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