In this book, Augusto Boal, one of the most influential theater theorists and practitioners of the last century, explains his “theater of the oppressed” (TO) and several interesting games and exercises used in this form.
These ‘gamesercises’ show once again the emancipating power that games can bring about. You do not have to be an experienced actor to particpate, not at all. In fact, TO seeks, above all, to undermine the distinctions between actor-spectator, game-reality; and create a state of acting where noone is left out as spectator but everyone actively participates to realize their power of transforming the game/reality.
As a form of political theater free from ideological labels, TO lets various forms of opression first become visible and then play out alternative ways to overcome. Since players make their statements by acting, the game becomes a continuous process of building awareness, courage and power to act.
“In truth, a session of Theatre of the Oppressed has no end, because everything which happens in it must extend into life. Theatre shall never end! Theatre of the Opressed is located precisely on the frontier between fiction and reality – and this border must be crossed.”