As created by Brazilian visionary, Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) is a form of popular community based education that uses theater as a tool for transformation. Originally developed out of Boal’s work with peasant and worker populations, it is now used all over the world for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation. Inspired by the vision of Paulo Freire and his landmark treatise on education, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, T.O. invites critical thinking. It is about analyzing rather than accepting, questioning rather than giving answers. It is also about “acting” rather than just talking. In T.O., the audience is not made of spectators but “spect-actors”. Through the evocative language of theatre, everyone is invited to share their opinion on the issues at hand. Boal’s books have been translated into over 35 languages and the work radiates from his centers in Rio de Janeiro and Paris as well as Vancouver, Toronto, England, India, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Holland, Italy, Korea, Burkina Faso, Puerto Rico, and many others. In the U.S., active centers can be found in New York, Omaha, Los Angeles, and Port Townsend, WA. It is also practiced on a grassroots level by teachers, social workers, therapists, and activists all over the world.
(description via Mandala Center For Change)