This article discusses the successes and vulnerabilities associated with combining the pedagogical methods of Theater, Composition, and Community Literacy in the Composition classroom. It examines how the ideas of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed can be combined to support an innovative approach to Composition teaching, one that additionally employs engaged scholarship and service learning. The essay describes how methods and cycles of story gathering, playwriting, and rhetorical analysis have been used with various community partners, including an adult day care for dementia patients, an HIV/AIDs clinic, and Public Health outreach programs that address Health Disparities. The article explains how the ready audience of community-written plays and the inherent characteristics of theatrical production enable finite and clearly definable communication moments and products—especially in the autobiography-fantasy fused genre I have termed magical memoir—while engaging and empowering the voices of students, teachers, community partners, and audience members alike. All human beings are actors (they act!) and spectators (they observe!) They are spect-actors. … Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, instead of just waiting for it. –Augusto Boal, Games for Actors and Non-Actors
Lariscy, Nichole. “Staging Stories That Heal: Boal and Freire in Engaged Composition.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, 2016, pp. 127–37, doi:10.25148/clj.11.1.009255.