chapter  18
Frances Babbage: AUGUSTO BOAL AND THE THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED
ByFrances Babbage
Pages 20

AU G U S T O B O A L B E C A M E F A M O U S for his Theatre of the Oppressed,a system of radical performance techniques now widely applied around the world. His work is regularly taught in academic programmes; a theatre syllabus today is as likely to include Boal as Artaud. Yet Boal’s initial attempts in the mid-1970s to establish and expand his grassroots theatre movement met with resistance from actors and directors to whom ‘theatre’ meant the works of elite, principally European, dramatists, respectfully produced on the professional stage. He was then in exile from his native Brazil, living in Portugal. Here he systematised the participatory methods with which he had already begun to experiment.