Theatre of the Oppressed as a Dialectical Game?

Authored by: José Soeiro , Julian Boal

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:


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“Bad dramatists of all epochs,” Augusto Boal writes in Theatre of the Oppressed and Other Political Poetics, “do not understand the enormous importance of the transformations that occur in front of the spectator: theatre is transformation and movement, not just a simple presentation of what exists. It’s about becoming and not being.” 1 Years later, in another book, Boal insists on this way of understanding theatre as “conflict, contradiction, confrontation” and dramatic action as “the movement of this confrontation of forces.” 2 Conflict, contradiction, confrontation, and movement are not concepts that appear by chance. They result, even prior to any conviction about theatre, from a specific way of looking at the world. And what way is that? For us, this is first and foremost a dialectical perspective.

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