The Rainbow of Desire

Boal and doubt

Authored by: Adrian Jackson

The Routledge Companion to Theatre of the Oppressed

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138291027
eBook ISBN: 9781315265704
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315265704-20

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Abstract

One of the fault-lines in the world of TO immediately post the too-early death of Augusto Boal was perhaps that between doubt and certainty. Without Augusto, there was no one to adjudicate. For me, TO thrives on doubt. Doubt is its territory, doubt feeds its exploration, doubt is the foundation of its appeal. And doubt permeates all TO’s aspects, from how exactly it works and what it can legitimately lay claim to achieving, right through to where and how it should be applied and with whom. For others, at that time, the important thing was to draw boundaries, clear lines in the sand, to reconnect the work clearly and indelibly to its origins when Augusto started out all those years ago, partly at least as a bulwark against the depredations of those who would dilute the purity of its intention; this anxiety to name and delimit I also understand and voice myself when necessary—the ethos of the work, summarised in its name, must resist all attempts to colonise or co-opt into agendas it was never meant to serve. There is truth in both positions.

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