An Application of Marcus Tullius Cicero's Rhetorical Canon to Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed: a Case Study Involving Southwest Missouri State University's Theatre Peer-Education Troupe, Barestage
Date of Graduation
Master of Arts
Theatre and Dance
Theatre and Performance Studies
This study applies Marcus Tullius Cicero's rhetorical Canon to Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed (TO)--specifically to his technique of Forum Theatre. Following my discussions of Boal's philosophical techniques and Cicero's rhetorical Canon, I draw on my experiences with the Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) theatre peer-education troupe BareStage and a performance of SMS You! an interactive theatre production that ran from February 5-9, 1997, on the SMSU campus. The academic foundation on which this study relies begins with the texts written by Augusto Boal: Theatre of the Oppressed, Rainbow of Desire, and Games for Actors and Non-Actors. I include references to the book Playing Boal - Theatre, Therapy, Activism edited by Mady Schutzman and Jan Cohen-Cruz, a book of interviews and essays written to assist the TO practitioner and theorist. Additionally I draw from Marcus Cicero's works De Oratore and Orator, as translated by J.S. Watson. This study reveals that in Cicero's Canon there exists a more defined model that can be used for creating a Forum performance than what Boal has outlined in his work to date. The study offers suggsetion for further research including the following: 1.) Additional studies are needed to uncover if Cicero's Canon is truly a viable model for troupes to use in devising Forum Theatre scripts. 2.) More consideration should be given to the idea that a cast assembling a Forum performance needs to specify the central question or conflict in the scene as related to the issue explored.
© Ew Winship
Winship, Ew, "An Application of Marcus Tullius Cicero's Rhetorical Canon to Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed: a Case Study Involving Southwest Missouri State University's Theatre Peer-Education Troupe, Barestage" (2000). MSU Graduate Theses. 2475.