Jana Sanskriti Centre for the Theatre of the Oppressed, based in West Bengal, is probably the largest and longest lasting Forum Theatre operation in the world. It was considered by Augusto Boal to be the chief exponent of his methodology outside of its native Brazil.
This book is a unique first-hand account - by the group's artistic director Sanjoy Ganguly - of Jana Sanskriti's growth and development since its founding in 1985, which has resulted in a national Forum Theatre network throughout India. Ganguly describes the plays, people and places that have formed this unique operation and discusses its contribution to the wider themes espoused by Forum Theatre.
Ganguly charts and reflects on the practice of theatre as politics, developing an intriguing and persuasive case for Forum Theatre and its role in provoking responsible action. His combination of anecdotal insight and lucid discussion of Boal's practice offers a vision of far-reaching transformation in politics and civil society.
Introduction 1. Celebrating the Rehearsal of Revolution - A historical profile of Jana Sanskriti Initial Phases: in the villages Identity or Function? The question of empowerment: Phulmani Propaganda or Collaboration Women and Forum 1: Shonar Meye Forum, Acting and Action: Shonar Meye in Jaipur Women and Forum 2: Forum in the capital city The political power of forum: Amra Jekhaney Dariye 2. Boal's Theatre - The recognition of resource Bakam, an illiterate educated man Emotional Intelligence: volition and desire A parallel from Rio 3. Boal: Poetics as Politics Activism or Human Sympathy? Active Intelligence Agitprop or Liberation? Rationality and Sympathy: The open mind Politics, Action and Acting The Interaction of the Senses: Activating power 4. Theatre as Rehearsal of Future Political Action Forum in Rural West Bengal: Understanding social structures King Claudiuses don't Change, Teachers Do: Power and its applications Towards Rational Collective Action 5. Beyond West Bengal: Other Indian scenarios Delhi Maharashtra 6. Beyond India: Workshop diary Germany: Berlin France: Manosque Germany: Wertpfuhl France: Lille Germany: Halle Kirghistan Are you a Feminist? Bangladesh: Dakar An Alternative Strategy 7. The Politics of Collective Thinking: Scripting power Forum Process and the Politics of Debate The Politics of Context 8. Aesthetics and Ethics: Shaping collective practice Theatre is a Composite Art Creative Relationship: Aspects of process Space for Engagement: Form and shape 9. Reflections and Prospectives A Rehearsal for Internal Revolution Tactics and Strategies Actors' Personal Growth Conclusion Appendix