Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this study, I describe several performance experiments in which I applied Brazilian theatre artist Augusto Boal’s Image Theatre method to mobilize a composition process that is artistically exciting, politically relevant, and pedagogically engaging. Over the span of about seven years I used Image Theatre as the bedrock of my artistic practice as a director of social justice themed works for the stage. I show how using Image Theatre as a tool for performance composition can balance artistry (theatrical practice), analysis (cultural studies), and activism (collaborative struggles toward justice). To do so, I review relevant literature on Boal and Image Theatre to show how my research contributes to the ongoing conversation about the ethics and applications of Boal’s method, then describe three major performance projects in which I used Image Theatre as a method for staging collaborative performances addressing social justice topics. In each case study, I offer descriptions of the performance composition process and final performance product in order to reflect on several practical strategies for directors and teachers interested in creating collaborative performances that call for social change.
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McDonald, Bonny Leah, "After Images: Using Augusto Boal's Image Theatre to Balance Artistry, Analysis, and Activism in the Performance Composition Process" (2016). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 1252.