Theatre of the Oppressed Reading Group

The Book: Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal
• Part 1: “Aristotle's Coercive System of Tragedy”
Monday, March 21st, 7:30 p.m.
• Part 2: “Machiavelli's Poetics of Virtú
Monday, March 28th, 7:30 p.m.
• Part 3: “Hegel and Brecht: The Character as Subject or as Object?"
Monday, April 11th, 7:30 p.m.
at the A-Space 4722 Baltimore Ave. West Philadelphia

In 1974, while in exile from his native Brazil, Augusto Boal published his most influential work, Theatre of the Oppressed. The book details the history of Western drama—from the ancient Greek tragedy to the modern Brazilian soap opera—as a means of placating the common people and upholding the dominance of a privileged few. Boal then posits alternative modes of theatre to reverse the paradigm, giving voice to spectators and transforming them into "spect-actors". As a book, Theatre of the Oppressed has since seen print in over 25 languages. As a practice, Theatre of the Oppressed is used by millions of people in more than 70 countries.

Come to the A-Space for discussions on each part of Boal’s work. The group will provide a comfortable space to pick through the book and we'll help each other develop an understanding of Boal's work, technique, and legacy.

Copies of the Theatre of the Oppressed can be pre-ordered in Philadelphia from Wooden Shoe Books (704 South Street, 215-413-0999) or from Bindlestiff Books (4530 Baltimore Ave, 215-222-2432). For more information, email “”.

Public Performance on March 11th

This is a notice about a past event.
For information on upcoming events, click here.
The Rainbow of Desire in Performance
Friday March 11th at 7:30 p.m.
4522 Baltimore Ave. West Philadelphia
This event is FREE • donations accepted

Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt something was wrong yet you weren't quite sure what it was? Ever found yourself in situations where you knew what you needed to do but stopped yourself from taking action? What about when you experience so many different desires at once that you don't know how to sort them out? These are the sorts of quandaries we will address in The Rainbow of Desire, a public presentation for using theatre to dismantle internalized oppression.

We begin the evening by hearing stories from the lives of audience members, one of which will be reenacted onstage. We then expose the hidden elements of the story—wayward emotions, complex desires, and cops in our heads that haunt the stage like ghosts from the characters' minds. These ghosts appear first as human statues before being brought to life to do battle with each other so that we might learn what is useful and what we can do without. From there the original story is reshaped by what was experienced in revealing this hidden information, giving participants some tools to take with them into real-life situations. This is the essence of the Rainbow of Desire: a transformative performance that can be a rehearsal for reality.

In the Rainbow of Desire—as in all branches of Theatre of the Oppressed—everyone is a spect-actor, with the ability to be both in the audience and onstage. Everyone willl have opportunities to share stories, play characters, observe and offer feedback, or to embody the invisible elements of a situation. This event is free and open to the public. No theatre experience is necessary to attend or perform. For more info, call 215-730-0982, or email "".