Legislative Theatre

Legislative Theatre is based on the method of Forum Theatre. This form of theatre was developed when Augusto Boal returned to Brazil and became vereador of Rio de Janeiro (member of local authority). He wanted people of his town not only to adapt to existing laws, but also to participate in the creation and perfection of them. He gathered different groups of citizens and with the help of Forum Theatre found out what problems they experience and what suggestions they have for solving these problems. 
The only law of Augusto Boal

„Some friends of mine suggested that I should try and compose a law all on my own, from my own head, rather than just passing laws which came from the people’s desires. If I didn’t do it, they said, people might think that my democratic method of legislating was due to my own incapacity to think up good laws, rather than my genuine desire to help the people enact the laws they wanted. So I went home, and remembered that, in Sweden, the green lights at pedestrian crossings are accompanied by a particular noise when they are illuminated, and the red lights are accompanied by a different noise. By these means, blind people know when it is safe to cross the road. I wanted to oblige the City of Rio to do the same to protect our own blind citizens! I was very pleased that this memory had come to me and I wrote out the text of the law myself, refusing the offer of help from my assistants (who included my lawyers and a legislative specialist!), in order to show that I myself was a very capable lawmaker. When I had finished, I went in person to deliver it to the Justice Commission.
Later when the blind people in one of our theatre groups heard about ‘my’ law, they came running to my office.
‘Boal—do you want to get us killed?’ they said, furious with me.
‘Why? It’s a marvellous law; in Sweden it has saved many lives. Blind people like yourselves hear these noises and cross the roads in perfect safety! It works wonderfully!’
I was flabbergasted with their unexpected reaction!
‘In Sweden, they are Swedish!’ they told me.
‘So what?’ I asked in amazement.
They answered furiously: ‘Swedish drivers stop at red lights! Here, they don’t!’
I tore down the three flights of steps from my office and arrived breathless at the Justice Commission, just in time to withdraw my only law.

I am a lawmaker who has never made a law!!!“

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