Hector interviews about Boal.

Augusto Boal’s Legacy Lives On

Posted By admin On May 6, 2009 @ 9:39 am In Feature Stories

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Legendary Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal died this past Saturday at the age of 78, of respiratory failure after a long bout with leukemia. The founder of the concept of the “Theater of the Oppressed,” was deeply influenced by the philosophy of fellow Brazilian Paulo Freire and his “Pedagogy of the Oppressed.” Boal’s goal was to use the stage as a platform for social dialogue and to ultimately change society. To that end, he developed methods such as “Forum Theater,” which encouraged the participation of audience members as “spec-actors,” rather than spectators. Boal also created hundreds of games and exercises for actors and non-actors alike in readying them in a rehearsal for real life. Working with theater professionals as well as rural Brazilian farmers, Boal’s work did not find favor with the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 – he was jailed, tortured and exiled to Argentina. Undeterred, the theater director and playwright returned to Brazil after the fall of the dictatorship by which time his work in broadening the “Theater of the Oppressed” movement had spread internationally. Boal often visited the US and mentored many activists here including my guest, Hector Aristizabal.

GUEST: Hector Aristizabal, practitioner of Theater of the Oppressed and good friend and mentee of Augusto Boal

There will be a gathering on Saturday May 9th from 5-7 pm at El Parque de Mexico in Lincoln Park just east of the LA river, to commemorate the legacy of Augusto Boal. The event will be “an informal ritual / gathering to build an altar, bring poems, thoughts, images, stories, songs, words or just our bodies to celebrate the passing and the extraordinary life of Augusto Boal.”

For more information, visit www.imaginaction.org, or email bblair@usc.edu.


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