Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Games for Actors and Non-Actors


Games for Actors and Non-Actors is the classic and best selling book by the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal. It sets out the principles and practice of Boal's revolutionary Method, showing how theatre can be used to transform and liberate everyone - actors and non-actors alike!This thoroughly updated and substantially revised second edition includes:* Two new essays by Boal on major recent projects in Brazil* Boal's description of his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company* A revised introduction and translator's preface* A collection of photographs taken during Boal's workshops, commissioned for this edition* New reflections on Forum Theatre


This is a conflation of two books, Stop! C'est magique (Paris: Hachette, 1980) and Jeux pour acteurs et non-acteurs (Paris: La Découverte, 1989), with liberal additions and alterations as Boal has added examples of his latest ever-developing practice. As the title suggests, the exercises and games detailed are mostly suitable both for trained and untrained performers - it is fundamental to Boal's work that anyone can act and that theatrical performance should not be solely the province of professionals. The dual meaning of the word 'act', to perform and to take action, is also at the heart of the work.

Three main categories of Theatre of the Oppressed are discussed in this book - Image Theatre, Invisible Theatre and Forum Theatre. However, there is a continuous overlap and interplay between all these forms, and the choice of the particular form simply depends on the situation in which the work is being made and the goal of the theatrical event.

Image Theatre is a series of exercises and games designed to uncover essential truths about societies and cultures without resort, in the first instance, to spoken language - though this may be added in the various 'dynamisations' of the images. The participants in Image Theatre make still images of their lives, feelings, experiences, oppressions; groups suggest titles or themes, and then individuals 'sculpt' three-dimensional images under these titles, using their own and others' bodies as the 'clay'. However, the image work never remains static - as with all of Theatre of the Oppressed, the frozen image is simply the starting point for or prelude to the action, which is revealed in the dynamisation process, the bringing to life of the images and the discovery of whatever direction or intention is innate in them.

At its simplest, the idea underlying this is that 'a picture paints a thousand words'; that our over-reliance on words can confuse or obfuscate central issues, rather than clarifying them; that images can be closer to our true feelings, even

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