Political theatre, like any kind of political action, can only be judged in relation to the political moment in which it tries to intervene. Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) was created to fight against dictatorship and an extremely centralized conception of politics. How does it function now, in a time of social media and so-called participatory democracies?

Providing an in-depth account of the political and cultural context in which TO emerged, this book asks: How do contemporary understandings of concepts like oppression, representation, participation, and emancipation shape TO today? Highlighting the pitfalls of reducing oppression to one-to-one relationships, the book proposes a version of Forum Theatre dramaturgy that portrays oppression as a defining structure of societies. The author also shares specific examples of movements and other organizations that use Theatre of the Oppressed to construct themselves.

Theatre of the Oppressed and Its Times is an essential text for practitioners and scholars of TO, applied theatre practitioners, students, and anyone interested in how theatre can concretely assist in the transformation of the world.

chapter |8 pages


part I|64 pages

Criticizing a Critical Theatre

chapter 3|7 pages

Theatre of the Oppressed and Epic Theatre

Notes on Two Attempts to Overcome the Bourgeois Drama

chapter 4|8 pages

Critiques of Theatre of the Oppressed

chapter 5|13 pages

Theatre of the Oppressed in Neoliberal Times

From Che Guevara to the Uber Driver

chapter 6|4 pages

Notes on Oppression

chapter 7|5 pages


part II|22 pages

Small Screws, Big Twists

part III|55 pages

Are There No Alternatives?

chapter 969|22 pages

Examples but Not Models

Against Well-Made TO and for Well-Adapted TO

chapter 10|11 pages

The Search for a Subjunctive Theatre

chapter |1 pages