About Augusto Boal
The late Brazilian writer, politician and theatre director and innovator Augusto Boal was a visionary in drama, reinventing political theatre and using theatre as a method of social change and reform. Boal trained as an industrial chemist in Brazil then studied drama at Colombia University also completing his masters in chemical engineering at the time; whilst in New York he wrote and directed his first play The House Across the Street.
On returning to Brazil, he became director of the Arena theatre, São Paulo and pioneered new methods in agitprop theatre, taking plays into the Brazilian countryside and devloping audience participation. Arrested by the Brazilian military junta in 1971 and exiled to Argentian, Boal continued to practice his ideas eventually in 1974 publishing his much acclaimed book, Theatre of the Oppressed.
He was a professor at the Sorbonne, a member of Rio de Janeiro's city council in the mid 90s, developing Legislative Theatre; he worked in the UK with the Royal Shakespeare Company and notably with Cardboard Citizens. In his lifetime he received many honorary doctorates and was awarded the Pablo Picasso medal by UNESCO, and The Cross Border Award for Peace and Democracy by Dundalk Institute of Technology. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the year before his death.