Time Period of Augusto Boal
He was born 16th March 1931. Died 2nd May 2009. He started directing and influencing plays in 1955. His revolutionary system Theatre of the Oppressed came into practice around 1960.
He worked in the Arena Theatre, Sao Paulo. His proffesor was John Gassner, who also taught Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. Gassner introduced Boal to Brecht and Stanislavaski's technique. Paulo Freire influenced Boals work.
Boal was also influenced by Shakespeare aswell.Boal and Freire became close in later years into their lives.When Paulo Freire died Boal quoted “I am very sad. I have lost my last father. Now all I have are brothers and sisters.” Paulo Freire was major influence on Boal’s teachings.Most of his early work was inspired by the Maxist philosophy: techniques mostly realised after realising limitation of didactic politically motivated theatre in poor areas where he worked. John Gassner showed Boal, Brecht and Stanislavski’s techniques.He had a Proffesor named John Gassner who taught Boal in New York.He worked in the Arena Theatre in Sao Paulo from 1955-1971.
Didactic means teaching or intending a moral story
Technical Components
They do not need costume, lighting, set, sound, or a theatre but when they were available they were used. Theatre of the Opressed uses whatever resources are available to you.
After the audience give suggestions or instructions to the actors to help a problem a solution is improvised. The audience members also come on stage and act out their ideas becoming actors in their own right.
Boal also directed some Shakespearian plays.
Directed lot of plays at the Arena Theatre in Soa Paulo.

He put on his first plays in University.

His philosophy was that ordinary citizens are actors completely unaware of the play.
Directed two performances which were “The Horse and the Saint” and “The House across the Street”.
Rehearsal/ The Performance
Theatre of the Oppressed practices by warming up with improvisation games and then coming up with and practicing the first part of a scenario. The scenario has to involve an antagonist, a protagonist and the oppressed person. There is also the joker who conducts the session and is the enabler and mediator of the group. Forum Theatre which is the basic form of leglislative, analytical, myth, invisible and newspaper theatre. the ideas of all of these is to take a law, myth, news article or other idea and perform it, most of the time once then a second time so that the Spect-actor can contribute. the performances have a few rules, for the joker;
1. Jokers must avoid all actions, which could manipulate or influence the audience. The audience should never be confronted with the joker’s own personal interpretation of events.
2. Jokers must personally decide nothing. They must keep relaying doubts back to the audience i.e. does this solution work or not? Is this right or wrong?

3. Watch out for ‘magic’ solutions. The joker may interrupt the spect-actor’s action if they consider an action to be magic. They must not make that decision but must ask the audience if they believe it to be.

4. The joker is the ‘midwife’, assisting in the birth of all ideas, of all actions!

5. It is more important to achieve a good debate than a good solution

6. The joker should not mingle with the audience or the actors but remain separate from them - physically alert and dynamic at all times. If the joker is tired or confused, she will transmit a tired and disorientated image to the audience.

7. Be flexible according to your audience e.g. An audience of Year 8 girls may have an agenda of simply wanting to get on stage with their friends, rather than progressing the action so you can afford to be strict with them

8. Decide with the performers during the rehearsal process whether there are to be ‘missing characters’ i.e. characters who do not appear in the performance but can be introduced during the forum. For example if the protagonist is living with his father, where is mum? Can she be brought into the action or is she too far away or even dead? The devising process can create an elaborate character network or simply be left for the spectators to create during the forum. This can however, sometimes lead to ‘magic’ solutions whereby wonderful grandparents appear to save the day!

For the Spect-actors;

1. First, you will watch a performance, which shows a problem/ issue/ situation of oppression.
2. At the end of the performance, you are invited to applaud the efforts of the actors and then some time discussing amongst yourselves the situation and some possible solutions for changing the series of events.
3. The performance will then be repeated. At any time, any audience member can call out freeze, come up on stage and take the place of the central character (protagonist), in order to try to change the series of events. (In this way, the spectator becomes the ‘spect-actor’). You need never have experienced drama in your life to take part in this - what you need are ideas of how to change the events to effectively resolve the problem/oppression.
4. In terms of the rules of the game, you may only swap places with the characters that want to change the circumstances presented. Alternatively, you may introduce characters that may be able to support other characters that wish to change.
5. You may feel nervous about standing up in front of everyone - this is only natural. However, if no one gets up, the performance will continue as it did the first time and therefore the series of events will go unchanged.
6. The Joker is at hand at all times to guide and support anyone who is slightly nervous. If you have an idea for change but do not want to come up on stage, you may still call out freeze and offer your suggestion to the group of actors who will then perform this suggestion.
7. One final thing to say is that no one may offer violence as a suggestion for change. Forum Theatre does not accept this as a method of change.
Running Order
Actor 1 - Matt
Actor 2 – Isabelle
Boal and Actor 3- Grace

  • Teacher is teaching students about 'the rules' of the spectactors, time period of Augusto Boal and influences
  • Student falls asleep and has dream
  • In dream:
  • Baol comes onto stage "Where are my actors?"
  • Actors come onto stage
  • Boal: "We have a big performance tonight; and instead of legislative theatre on a law we will do forum theatre. Let’s play a warm up game when we come back tonight. Do you have any suggestions?" - To actors.
  • Actor 1: "How about Boal's ball?"
  • Actor 2: "Or push not to win?"
  • Boal: "How about the game what are you doing? When we come back you can start" Points to actor 2 “And our other actor will be here to play, instead of me”.
  • Actors come onto stage
  • Actor 2:”Let’s start the game.” Building House
  • Actor 1: “What are you doing?”
  • Actor 2: “Putting on makeup”
  • Actor 1 mimes putting on makeup.
  • Actor 3: “What are you doing?”
  • Actor 1: “Brushing my teeth”
  • Actor 3 mimes brushing teeth
  • Actor 2: “What are you doing?”
  • Actor 3: “I’m on a roller coaster”
  • Actor 2 mimes being on a roller coaster
  • Actor 1: “What are you doing?”
  • Actor 2: “I’m being chased by lions”
  • Actor 1 mimes being chased by lions.
  • Actor 3: “What are you doing?”
  • Actor 1: “Having a temper tantrum”
  • Actor 3 mimes having temper tantrum.
  • Actor 2: “Right, I think that’s enough, oh look here comes boal”
  • Boal enters
  • “Ready? Let’s begin”
  • Scenario:
  • Girl on stage
  • Bully comes onto stage. “Oi, give me your lunch money!”
  • Girl: “No, it’s for me..”
  • Bully: “Give it to me… now!”
  • Girl: “oh….okay..” Hands bully lunch money
  • Scene acted out again. This time Amy says ‘freeze’ walks up to girl. “Why don’t you stand up to the bully and say stop it I don’t like it!”
  • Girl does that…. Doesn’t work.
  • Scene acted again.
  • This time Emma yells out “Freeze”. Walks up to girl. “Why don’t you tell someone how you feel…like the principal”
  • Joker (Vicky) steps in. “Is she allowed to do that” Says to audience. “No, she isn’t. There is no principal here so we cannot do that.”
  • Scene acted again. Adam comes onto stage “Why don’t you beat him up?”
  • Joker: “That is not allowed, sorry. No violence is acceptable.”
  • Scene acted again.
  • Mitchell comes up “Why don’t we all sit with you and offer the bully some lunch?”
  • All people sit with girl
  • Bully comes up scared
  • Girl: “Hey would you like to sit down with us and have some of my lunch?”
  • Bully sits down and is nice.
The end!!