As I posted on Sunday, Augusto Boal, founder of The Theatre of the Oppressed, and writer of this year’s World Theatre Day International Address, has died.
Here in Vancouver, the man closest to Boal is certainly David Diamond, Artistic Director of Headlines Theatre. Yesterday, Diamond sent out this eulogy which he wrote for his friend and colleauge, and I asked him if I could share it.
It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the death of Brazilian theatre director and founder of the “Theatre of the Oppressed” (TO), Augusto Boal. In the early hours of May 2, 2009, the world experienced the passing of a visionary theatre artist, activist and educator.
Boal’s passionately theatrical spirit and his uncompromising commitment to human rights, combined with an infectious sense of play, spread the ideas and practice of TO around the world.
Boal leaves a rich legacy of innovation in theatre and social activism, books, articles, and inspired hearts and minds. As Chris Vine, a friend and colleague from NY wrote upon hearing this sad news, “…we are all grateful for the lives Boal had touched, inspired and linked together artistically, politically and personally, transcending time and distance.”
To me, personally, he was an inspiration, a mentor, a colleague and a beloved friend. No more fiery emails back and forth, Augusto? This is so hard to contemplate. You will always be a welcome “Cop in my Head”. Thank you for so much.
Messages have been posted on the International Theatre of the Oppressed (ITO) website from Adrian Jackson, a TO practitioner and translator of Boal’s books, http://www.theatreoftheoppressed.org. and Bárbara Santos, on behalf of the Centre of the Theatre of the Oppressed (CTO) Rio. Access Bárbara’s message by clicking on the image of Boal in the upper right of the home page. A condolences registry, where you can leave your thoughts, is available by clicking inside the “interventions” link of Adrian’s message.
On behalf of all of us at Headlines, our condolences to the Boal family, CTO Rio, the global TO community, and all. Boal touched the lives of so many.
Artistic Director, Headlines Theatre, Vancouver BC, Canada