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Digital Theatre+, Digital Theatre’s education platform, is delighted to announce, from Thursday 21st April 2022, schools, universities, and educational institutions all over the world will be able to access The Boal Collection for the first time. The Boal Collection is a curated selection of over 400 historical documents including previously unpublished playtexts, letters, videos and photographs illuminating the work and teachings of Augusto Boal. The materials have been carefully selected by Cecilia and Julian Boal, wife and son of the legendary Theatre of the Oppressed innovator.

Boal, one of the major theatrical innovators of the 20th century, was awarded the UNESCO Pablo Picasso medal in 1994 and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The new collection, created exclusively for education institutions, is thanks to a partnership with People’s Palace Projects, an arts research centre at Queen Mary University of London. Their work focuses on bringing together artists, activists, academics and audiences to challenge social injustice through the power of the arts – in UK, Brazil and beyond. 

Famed across the world, with his teachings still studied by almost every student of theatre, Augusto Boal (1931 – 2009) was a Brazilian theatre practitioner, drama theorist, and political activist. He was the founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed movement. Originally developed out of Boal’s revolutionary work with worker populations in Latin America, Theatre of the Oppressed is now used all over the world for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation. For this reason, Boal’s teachings are as relevant today as ever. 

Both Cecilia and Julian Boal have continued Augusto Boal’s work at the Escola de Teatro Popular in Rio de Janeiro and at Theatre of the Oppressed training sessions across the globe. And in March 2009, Julian Boal received the title of “World Theatre Ambassador” from UNESCO.

The Boal Collection has been chosen from the archive of the Institute Augusto Boal in Rio de Janeiro and launches a unique journey through the interconnected stories of Boal’s personal life and professional history as a theatre practitioner. 


To launch the collection, Digital Theatre+ is hosting a free webinar – open to all – on 21 April. 

Why Boal Now? brings together an unprecedented international panel of expert practitioners and teachers of Boal’s techniques to look in detail at his legacy and what the study of his archive can do to inspire a new generation. Booking details:

Each panellist has been invited to choose one item from the Boal Collection and talk about how it resonates for them and how they might use it in their work. There will be a general discussion about the value and purpose of historical archives in a digital world, and how these materials relate to the teaching and studying of Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Panellists include:

  • Cecilia Thumim Boal, psychoanalyst, Director, Actress and Founder of the Instituto Boal
  • Alvim Cossa, General Coordinator and founder of the Theater of the Oppressed Center (CTO-Maputo) President of RETEC-Rede Moçambicana de Teatro Comunitário, and President of the Board of Directors of AMOTE-Associação Moçambicana de Teatro
  • Paul Heritage, curator/editor of DT+’s Boal Collection, Professor of Drama and Performance at Queen Mary University of London and Artistic Director of the arts research centre People’s Palace Projects.
  • Lorena Roffe, actress and co-founder of Metoca (Multiplication and Exploration of Theatre of the Oppressed in Central America) 
  • Katy Rubin, strategist for arts and social/civic change, and founder of the Theatre of the Oppressed NYC

DT+’s Head of Higher Education, Talia Rodgers, Boal’s editor and publisher of his books in English, will also present a new series of e-learning videos called ‘Key Concepts in Theatre for Social Change’ scripted by Kelly Howe (Loyola University Chicago) which incorporate audio-visual materials from the Boal Collection.  

Talia Rodgers comments: “Boal’s vision and inspirational teachings are well documented, particularly through his books, but the genesis and history of his work are less well known. We’re excited to be collaborating with his family and with PPP to disseminate crucial and previously unseen materials which illuminate his exhilarating theatrical leadership, in the digital environment. They will undoubtedly stimulate future work by the students and practitioners of today.” 

Paul Heritage, People’s Palace Projects’ artistic director, and curator/editor of DT+’s Boal Collection said:

Through offering a pyrotechnic theatrical toolbox to communities and individuals that experience oppression, Boal questioned and overturned the power relations in theatre and showed, as he loved to say, that anyone can make theatre – even actors. We are over the moon to be able to bring his work to a new generation of students of theatre.

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