by Angelo Miramonti


This article presents the theoretical approach and preliminary results of an ongoing research project called “Theatre for Reconciliation”. This project aims to systematize a set of theatrical methods to intentionally accompany interior and interpersonal reconciliation processes in people affected by conflicts and foster a deep dialogue with the rest of society. The research methodology consists in modifying and adapting existing participatory theatre techniques to conflict affected populations and documenting the adaptations made and their impact on the reconciliation process. The expected results in the short term are methodological reflections derived from workshops and plays produced with the conflict affected populations in Colombia. The medium-term expected results are articles that document the aesthetic and psychosocial results of the interventions and a methodological text that serves as a guide for the future Theatre for Reconciliation facilitators. The long-term expected result of this project is that this methodological systematization could lead to the establishment of a “Theatre for Reconciliation” professional course to certify facilitators capable of intervening with creative and healing tools in contexts of conflict worldwide.


This article presents the theoretical assumptions, methodology and preliminary results of an ongoing artistic research project called “Theatre for Reconciliation” (TfR). The key research question of this project is: what creative methods can intentionally and systematically accompany reconciliation processes in people affected by conflicts and facilitate a deep dialogue with the rest of society?

Trying to answer this question, Theatre for Reconciliation aims to pilot and systematize a set of participatory theatre techniques that have proven effective in accompanying reconciliation processes among people affected by internal, interpersonal and social conflicts. The author of this paper initiated this project in October 2017, at the beginning as an independent researcher and since January 2018 in his capacity of Community Theatre Professor at the Instituto Departamental de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Departmental Institute), in Cali, Colombia.


The use of theatre (from the Greek: θέατρον, theátron, “place to contemplate”) to accompany inner healing and strengthen community cohesion is rooted in the very origins of theatre in various cultures. Existing history of theatre studies1 identify the origins of this form of art in an evolution of magical rituals related to hunting, witnessed by cave paintings in various areas of Eurasia and Africa. These rites included music, dance and the enactment of hunting scenes, and progressively became dramatic ceremonies, where key values and spiritual principles of a given society were expressed and reproduced. The character of theatre as dramatized sacred ceremony appears in most historical studies as a common factor in the emergence of theatre in all civilizations. From Neolithic cultures, the performance of hunting scenes to propitiate success in the hunt and motivate the group has to do with collective healing from fear and insecurity. Therefore, theatre has had, since its very origins, the function of group healing and reproduction of community values.

In ancient Greece, theatre gradually departs from religious worship and becomes a purification ritual (from the Greek κάθαρσις, kátharsis) of the citizens’ antisocial impulses. In his Poetics, Aristotle defines catharsis as corporal, emotional and mental purification. Through the experience of mercy and fear (eleos and phobos), the spectators of tragedy experience the purification of his soul (psyche) from passions that are contradiction with the hegemonic values. According to Aristotle, catharsis is the faculty of the tragedy to redeem or purify the spectator from his own antisocial passions. This process involves seeing these passions projected onto the characters in the play, and seeing the deserved and inevitable punishment of the guilty characters, without the spectator having to experience the punishment himself. For example, the incestuous and parricide impulses latent in the audience are projected onto the character of Oedipus in the tragedy King Oedipus of Sophocles and seeing Oedipus’ punishment allows the public to purify itself from incestuous passions. Greek theatre then evolved from ancient religious rituals (komos) into rituals of collective purification represented in the form of myths, where word and action (drama) were added, through “mimesis”. This dramatization of myths gave rise to tragedy. In this process, the audience went from being a participant in a rite to becoming a spectator of a play performed by actors. A few centuries after the birth of the Greek tragedy, comedy arose, assuming the function of satire and social criticism and reaffirming the separation of the audience from the performers.

The nexus between theatre and purification/healing (in tragedy) and between theatre and criticism of behaviours condemned by the dominant morality (in comedy) appears very clearly at the origins of Western theatre and runs through history of Western theatre, up to the 20th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, several authors criticized the role of theatre in reproducing the hegemonic ideology and emphasized, on the contrary, the potential of eversion and social transformation of arts. In Soviet Union, the Agitprop theatre (from Russian, агитпроп, contraction of agitation and propaganda), used art to spread revolutionary ideas (propaganda) and motivate spectators to change their behaviour (agitation). In these same years, Berthold Brecht emphasizes in his works the revolutionary potential of theatre, which would be capable of modifying power relations and dominant values. In his plays, Brecht opposes the values of the bourgeoisie and consciously opposes bourgeois theatre, arguing that this form of theatre is meant to entertain the spectator, without influencing any social change. On the contrary, Brecht seeks to motivate the spectator to become aware of the ideology of legitimation of the hegemonic order that influences her or him and thus to take action to change it. To this end, Brecht’s plays are based on real historical events, inextricably linking the representation of the socio-historical background with the search for the aesthetic result.

In the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century, the Brazilian director Augusto Boal carried out a theatrical research initially influenced by Brecht’s theoretical assumptions and European political theatre, adapting it to the Brazilian context. In the 1960s, Boal adopted an agitprop approach, producing plays that sought to mobilize landless peasants towards revolution and the seizure of uncultivated land2. Realizing the limits of this approach to motivate change, Boal adopted an approach that did not seek to influence the public to follow a pre-established course of action and decided to invite the audience to seek their own strategies for change. Boal called this new technique “Simultaneous Dramaturgy” and experimented with it during the adult literacy campaign in Peru, in 1973. During the campaign, simultaneous dramaturgy evolved into Boal’s best-known systematization: Forum Theatre, where he gave the audience back the power to transform the story presented on stage, giving the spectators the chance to come on stage and rehearse their ideas of change, confronting directly the oppressive characters. In this new technique, Boal applied the Socratic concept of maieutic (from the Greek μαιευτικóς, maieutikós, “of the midwife”; μαιευτικη´, maieutiké, “technique of assisting in childbirths”) to the role of the theatre director, which Boal called “the joker”. According to Boal, the director and the actors, like the midwife, are not “pregnant” with the truth about how to transform a conflict and reduce oppression, only the community that lives the conflict is “pregnant” with the possible alternatives to the conflict. The role of the actors and the joker is thus to invite the community to intervene on stage and try to change the oppressive story, so the community can give birth to its own truth about the conflict and its transformation.

This process of returning the aesthetic means of production to spectators, after the separation of audience and actors that occurred at the beginning of Greek tragedy, finds another important methodological systematization in the second half of the twentieth century in Jonathan Fox’s Playback Theatre3 4. In a Playback theatre play, the conductor asks some spectators of a community to come on stage, one by one, and tell a story that is important to them. A group of four actors improvise the story told by the audience using theatre, dance and music. This improvisation returns (plays-back) the story to the narrator and to the entire community, transforming the narrator’s words into acting, dance, dialogues, etc., while a fifth spectator accompanies the performance of the quartet playing musical instruments.

The research on “Theatre for Reconciliation” is rooted in this ongoing process of returning the means of artistic production to the audience, focusing specifically on communities affected by conflicts. This project then looks for creative ways to give the word back to those who have not been heard within a conflict (e.g., the disabled, children, women, indigenous people, people in contact with the psychiatric system, etc.) and to involve them in the search for alternatives to the discriminations they experience and in the construction of a plural and inclusive narrative about them conflicts they experience.


Before presenting the methodology of this research, we present the five theoretical assumptions on which the Theatre for Reconciliation research is based. The first assumption is that Theatre for Reconciliation intentionally places itself at the crossroads between three groups of disciplines:

  1. Performing arts, other arts and human creativity in general;
  2. Psychology, pedagogy and social work;
  3. Social sciences (history, sociology, political science, ethnology, economics, etc.)

The methodological systematization we intend to achieve comes from the synergy between these three dimensions and is nourished by knowledge and practices derived from these three groups of disciplines.

The second assumption is that any artistic production is (consciously or unconsciously) political and situated. With “political” we mean that the artistic product is created within existing power relations. By “situated” we mean that the art product is created and deeply influenced by its specific historical and cultural contexts of production and distribution. Both power relations and cultural/historical contexts condition the creative result and the access to it by the intended audience. These assumptions fit into the theoretical framework of Liberation Theology5 6 and Pedagogy of the Oppressed7 where theology and pedagogy are seen as a contextual reflection from a historical praxis of liberation and of the Psychology of Liberation8, where the healing practice focuses on the historical oppressions internalized by subjects in society. Furthermore, the systematization of Theatre for Reconciliation is a reflection from an artistic praxis rooted in specific historical conflicts, mainly those of the Pacific area of Colombia at the beginning of the 21st century.

However, our assumption is that an artistic product cannot be reduced to power relations and cultural/historical contexts where it is created. On the contrary, our assumption is that an artistic product has a potential for transcendence of its social conditions of production and a potential for transformation of the context and power relations where it operates. The piece of art is not seen only as a reflection of the world that produced it, but also as an activity that (intentionally or unintentionally) transcends the historical and cultural conditions of its production, can transform the same conditions and can communicate with human beings of other historical periods and cultures. Furthermore, the piece of art does not only reflect the socio-historical reality that produced it, but can also mould it, in line with the famous Brecht’s quote: “theatre is not a mirror where the reality is reflected, but a hammer to shape it”.

The third assumption is that marginalized subjects are potential producers of beauty and creators of their own aesthetics and poetics. Theatre for Reconciliation places itself in continuity with Augusto Boal’s latest methodological systematization: The Aesthetics of the Oppressed9. In his book, Boal notes how the oppressed internalize the aesthetics of hegemonic groups, such as the iconographies and representations of the body of Hollywood movies, the melodies of music production majors, and the colonial and elitist representation of theatre. On this subject, Boal writes: “the citizen who develops within him the artist that he is, even without knowing it, can face better the industries of the word, of the sound and of the image. The citizen who allows himself to be ritualized in obedience becomes a ventriloquist of the thought of others and a mime of their gestures10”. From this observation, Boal declares the urgency for a “taking of the means of aesthetic production” by the oppressed. Taking up Boal’s challenge, Theatre for Reconciliation aims to return the capacity of artistic production to people and social groups “silenced” and unconsciously submitted to hegemonic aesthetics.

The fourth assumption of this research is that the words “Theatre” and “Reconciliation” need to be understood more holistically than it is conventionally done. By “Theatre” we mean not only acting, direction, dramaturgy, scenography, etc., but also a set of creative practices that breaks the classical demarcations between arts. In this research, theatre is conceived as a container and organizer of creative processes such as oral narration, literature, poetry, acting, puppets, painting, visual arts, singing and music. By “Reconciliation” we do not mean a predefined concept, but rather an open question posed to communities we work with. The desirability of reconciliation and its contextual meaning are not imposed from the outside but became part of an aesthetic dialogue that could lead to very different definitions and practices of what reconciliation means for one person or one community and this definition and practices evolve over time. Whatever meaning communities and individuals who participate in the project’s activities choose to give to the word “reconciliation”, Theatre for Reconciliation explores these subjective significations using creative process that question the participants on:

  1. What it means to reconcile with oneself, with one’s body, with one’s history, with the social masks that the subject wears in life and with painful biographical events that the subject metaphorically identifies as her or his “wounds”;
  2. What it means to reconcile with the people with whom the subject lives: how we can explore and transform conflicts and heal the wounds in the subject’s significant relationships (for example: with family members, colleagues, members of an armed group, etc.);
  3. What it means to reconcile with social structures and the historical period in which the subject lives: how to transform the subject’s relations with recent historical events that affected his or her own life (e.g. forced displacement, participation in an armed conflict, etc.) and with social expectations (e.g. gender stereotypes, local representations of mental health, etc.).

Theatre for Reconciliation addresses these three aspects of reconciliation synergistically and not one after the other. A key assumption is that each of the three aspects of reconciliation mentioned above always includes the other two, so reconciliation we seek cannot occur without holistically addressing these three aspects. In addition, “reconciliation” means a process of transformation of relationships at the same time between individuals and groups and between different dimensions that inhabit the individual. Different cultures define these multiple dimensions as unconscious drives, spirits, goddess, ancestors, etc. Thus, reconciliation is not limited to the reconstruction of interpersonal relationships after a conflict, but also to the integration of the different dimensions that make up a person’s interiority, transforming and healing her or his unconscious drives, incorporated memories and conscious aspirations. This theoretical presupposition also seeks to break the rigid demarcation between the Self and the Other and to recognize the individual as a constant osmosis between interiority and social interaction. Moreover, reconciliation is not only a process between living beings, but also between those who are alive and the memories of the dead, so this process seeks a re-conciliation with the incorporated inheritances of the ancestors.

The fifth theoretical assumption of this research is the need to overcome the dichotomy between art and science, where science seeks truth and art beauty. Theatre for Reconciliation seeks to discover the truth that is revealed in beauty and supports the return to the triadic unity of Truth-Beauty-Good that Plato places at the apex of his ideal world. In his dialogue on love, the Symposium, Plato states that: “beauty is the splendour of truth11”. However, creative work with marginalised groups does not mean that these people are the only ones capable of revealing the truth that inhabits beauty. Marginalised groups are subjects who produce beauty and reveal their plural and subjective truths, which Theatre for Reconciliation weaves with the truths of other subjects in a dialogical process (from the Greek διάλογος – dialogue – “discourse that goes from one side to the other”, “crossed discourse”), which seeks a pluralistic and inclusive narrative around a conflict where all the actors can feel reflected.

The Theatre for Reconciliation methodological approach is in harmony with the ongoing work of the Truth Commission in Colombia, an institution established after the signing of the peace agreements between the Colombian government and the guerrilla army FARC-EP at the end of 2016. In a recent interview with the magazine El Tiempo, a journalist asked the president of the Commission, Francisco de Roux: “What does the work of the Truth Commission consist of? De Roux replied: “It is the search for a common history [about the conflict] where we all see ourselves reflected”12. Leaving to other instances the task of ascertaining responsibilities and identifying culprits, Theatre for Reconciliation intends to construct a mosaic of stories about a conflict, a “textile of narratives”, in search of a shared memory of a conflict, for example: armed conflicts, conflicts experienced by people in the psychiatric system, etc. To achieve this goal of weaving conflict narratives, Theatre for Reconciliation cannot work only within marginalized groups, because this would reproduce existing power relations, creating two parallel aesthetics: an “aesthetic of the excluded” where the art production is presented only in poor neighbourhoods and with marginalised groups, and an “aesthetic of the included” where the production is presented in the spaces of the privileged, and the second aesthetics would be in a hegemonic relation with the first. Therefore, Theatre for Reconciliation seeks aesthetics ways to cross social barriers, strengthening empathic communication between social groups that often live in conditions of reciprocal segregation. In particular, this approach seeks to establish deep communication links with social groups that do not personally know the protagonists of a conflict and that in many cases adopt criteria for understanding a conflict they receive from the media. As Chomsky and Herman13 argue, the media often adopt specific strategies to manufacture public judgements according to hegemonic interests. Crossing social barriers through art, the marginalized become not only producers of their own beauty, but also those who reveal the truths that inhabit their own beauties. In this sense, Theatre for Reconciliation intends, for example, to present productions of former combatants also outside the contexts of the conflict, or to present art works by persons living with epilepsy also outside the circle of relatives and mental health professionals.

In conclusion, we can affirm that the overall objective of Theatre for Reconciliation is to respond, through artistic creation, to a deep desire of human beings: to recognize the truth that inhabits beauty.


The systematization of the Theatre for Reconciliation’s techniques is based on the five theoretical assumptions presented above, and on a number of practical experiences of applying theatre in conflict situations. In particular, we would like to highlight the following experiences as the most inspiring for the development of this project.

  1. The work of the theatre facilitator and psychotherapist Héctor Aristizábal in Colombia, with the Victims Unit, the International Organization for Migration and the Truth Commission. Over the past few years, Aristizábal has been applying Theatre of the Oppressed, Ritual Theatre and Deep Ecology to accompany the healing of conflict-affected people and former combatants from various groups. Part of Aristizábal’s work in Colombia is presented in Aristizábal14 15, while some of his theatrical practices are presented in autobiographical form in Aristizábal16.
  2. The work of the American director Teya Sepinuk, inventor of the process called “Theater of the Witness” that she has been applying in the last thirty years (in the United States, Poland and Northern Ireland) with people affected by conflicts, documented in Sepinuk17.
  3. The work of Héctor Aristizábal, Uri Noy-Meyer and Angelo Miramonti in Northern Ireland, through the application of the Theatre of the Oppressed with conflict-affected communities and former combatants.
  4. The theatrical work coordinated by the International Organization for Migration in Former Yugoslavia, with communities affected by the conflict, documented in Losi18.
  5. The work of the International Organization for Migration in Haiti on post-earthquake trauma (2011), documented in Schininà, G. et al19 and the work of Angelo Miramonti20 to empower hurricane-affected communities in natural disaster preparedness and response.
  6. The workshops led by Brent Blair in Rwanda with the Kigali Health Center, which led to the systematization of a technique called “Museum of the Unspeakable” inspired by Boal’s Image Theatre and used to transform traumatic memories using body statues and dynamizations, without verbalizing with the group the contents of the traumatic event.


Based on the theoretical and practical assumptions presented above, Theatre for Reconciliation aims to pilot and adapt the following theatrical techniques to the conflict context in Colombia:

– Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal, including Games-exercises, Image Theatre, Forum Theatre, Invisible Theatre, Legislative Theatre, Rainbow of Desire and Aesthetics of the Oppressed;

– Some theatrical adaptations of Active Listening of Carl Rogers;

– Theatre of Witness of Teya Sepinuk;

– Drama Therapy of Roger Grainger21 and Phil Jones22;

– Ritual Theatre in the version developed by Michael Meade23 and Héctor Aristizábal.

An ideal process of Theatre for Reconciliation in a conflict-affected community requires 150 hours of workshops with a group of approximately twenty people. The process also includes four or five public performances produced by the group. The intended participants in this process are adults and young people from rural or urban communities affected by conflict (e.g.: displaced communities) and all forms of discrimination (gender minorities, psychiatric patients, etc.) No previous theatrical experience is required to participate.

Depending on the availability of participants, the process can be completed in two to four months. For example, assuming that a group of community members commit to participate in the workshops for eight hours per week, the process could be completed in approximately four months. It is not advisable to take less than two months to complete the process, to allow sufficient time for the facilitator to receive feedback from the community at each step of the process and make adjustments. However, it is also not advisable to complete the process in more than four months to ensure an intense immersion experience for the participants and not lose momentum and motivation.

The ideal agenda for a Theatre for Reconciliation process would be the following:

  1. Breaking the barriers: Games-exercises and Image Theatre (15 hours);
  2. Becoming protagonists of change: Forum Theatre and Invisible Theatre (30 hours). With a public presentation for the community;
  3. Shaping our future together: Legislative Theatre for community decision-making (15 hours), including meetings with the community to agree on concrete steps in peacebuilding;
  4. Listening to each other with the whole body: Active Listening and Dance Theatre (10 hours);
  5. Meeting our own shadows: Rainbow of Desire and Cops in the Head (20 hours);
  6. Reconnecting with our own wounds: Drama Therapy based on ancestral and mythological stories woven with autobiographical narratives (15 hours);
  7. Finding the medicine in the wound: Theatre of Witness (25 hours) with a performance for the community;
  8. Weaving our common past and future: Ritual Theatre (20 hours) with a final reconciliation ritual designed by the participants and offered to the community.

The process is designed to move from the most directly autobiographical techniques (where participants stage situations of their own lives), such as in Forum Theatre and Rainbow of Desire, to an increasing level of symbolisation, where autobiographical events are counted seeking the healing in the wound, such as in Theatre of Witness, or are transfigured through imagination and counted through myths and symbols, such as in Drama Therapy. The highest level of symbolization is found in the eighth step: Ritual Theatre, where participants collectively design reconciliation rituals using the symbols and aesthetic languages of their own cultures (use of traditional instruments, chants, monologues, religious acts of worship, etc.) and propose these rituals to their community to celebrate the accomplishments of the process and invite the community to engage in future transformative relations.


Part of this research is being piloted in the framework of the Theatre for Reconciliation Project, launched in 2018 at the Departmental Institute of Fine Arts, in Cali, Colombia. The Project focuses on theatrical practices as synergy of creative processes, recognizing that all arts have the potential to catalyse inner and interpersonal transformation.

The objectives of the Project are:

  1. To investigate and experiment with theatrical methods to accompany the transformation of inner and interpersonal conflicts;
  2. Experiment and adapt existing techniques to facilitate dialogue, empathic understanding of the other and listening to their own sufferings in order to seek, through the creativity of each human being, a transformation of the conflict into an opportunity to build new relationships that bring origin of the conflict itself and the process of dialogue with themselves and others that was prompted by the experience of the conflict.
  3. Systematize facilitation techniques and approaches that intentionally accompany reconciliation processes during and after a conflict.

The pedagogical starting point for the members of the Project is to experience being a community among themselves in order to support community empowerment processes. The project started in August 2018 and is ongoing. The Project’s participants are students of Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Psychology and Social Work. At the time of publication of this article, the Project is composed of four working groups, facilitating workshops with the following populations:

  1. Women victims of sexual violence in the armed conflict;
  2. Former combatants of the FARC-EP guerrilla;
  3. People in touch with the psychiatric system and people living with Epilepsy;
  4. Adolescents coming from displaced families in the armed conflict.

The following are two examples of activities of the Theatre for Reconciliation Project, carried out in August and September 2018.


The majority of the Project participants have recently completed the Community Theatre course at the Institute of Fine Arts. This course provides basic tools for theatrical work with communities and is the first step for the achievement of the research objectives.

Confidence and non-verbal communication exercises during the Community Theatre course (photo credits: Angelo Miramonti)

Sensitization and non-verbal communication exercises (photo credits: Angelo Miramonti)

Ritual Theatre exercise at the end of the Community Theatre course (photo credits: Angelo Miramonti)

Forum Theatre Workshop with displaced persons

In 2018, the author of this paper facilitated a one-week workshop with displaced people coming from the war-affected departments of Cauca and Nariño. Some members of the Project participated in the workshop in support of the facilitator. This process focused on the autobiographical experiences of displaced persons and has resulted in a Forum Theatre play, eventually presented in the Institute of Fine Arts. The closing of the process has been a ritual to share the emotions aroused by the process and the students’ desires for the future. At the end of the workshop, the participants decided to establish themselves as a theatre group called “ReconciliActors” which intends to present its productions to various Colombian institutions.

Displaced people rehearsing scenes of violence in rural areas (photos: Angelo Miramonti)

Closing ritual of the Forum Theatre workshop with the “ReconciliActores” (photos: Nathaly Gómez)


Aristizábal H. and Lefer D., Blessing Next to the Wound. A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation, Lantern Books, Los Angeles 2010.

Aristizábal H., “Buscando la paz más allá de un acuerdo. Entrevista a Héctor Aristizábal”, in “UNI-PLURI/VERSIDAD”, Universidad de Antioquia, Vol. 17, N.° 2, 2017, pp.102-112.

Aristizábal H., Reconectando, url: , 2019

Aristoteles, Poetics, CreateSpace 2018.

Blair B., The Museum of the Unspeakable: Beyond the Binary in TO for Trauma Work, mimeo, 2013.

Boal A., Teatro del Oprimido, Teoría y Práctica, Alba Editorial, Barcelona 2009.

Boal A., El Arcoíris del Deseo, Alba Editorial, Barcelona 2013.

Boal A., Estética de los Oprimidos, Alba Editorial, Barcelona 2012.

Boff L., Jesus Cristo Libertador, Ed. Vozes, São Paulo 1972.

De Roux F., Francisco De Roux: el alma de la reconciliación, in El Tiempo, No. 77, Augusto 2018, url:

Fox J. Acts of Service: Spontaneity, Commitment, Tradition in the Non scripted Theatre, Tusitala Publishing, New York 1986.

Freire P., Pedagogía del oprimido, Tierra Nueva Editores, Lima 1970.

Freire P., La educación como práctica de la libertad, Tierra Nueva Editores, Lima 1971.

Gutiérrez G., Teología de la liberación: perspectivas, Ediciones Sígueme, Lima 1971.

Grainger R., Drama and Healing, Jessica Kingsley, London 1990.

Herman E. S., Chomsky N., Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Vintage, New York 1995.

Jones P., Drama as Therapy, Psychology Press, London 1996.

Losi N., Psychosocial and Trauma Response in War-Torn Societies. Supporting Traumatized Communities through Arts and Theatre, in “Psychosocial Notebook”, Vol. 3, 2002.

Martin-Baró I., Acción e ideología. Psicología social desde Centroamérica, UCA Editores, San Salvador 1983.

Meade M., The Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of the Soul, Green Fire Press, Massachusetts 2011.

Miramonti A., How to Use Forum Theatre for Community Dialogue, A facilitator’s Handbook, Lulu, North Carolina 2017.

Oliva C. and Torres Monreal F., Historia básica del arte escénico, Catedra Ediciones, Madrid 2005.

Plato, Symposium, CreateSpace, South Carolina 2007.

Salas J., Improvising Real Life: Personal Story in Playback Theatre, Tusitala Publishing, New York 1993.

Schininà G. et alli, Social Theatre, Community Mobilization and Sensitization after Disasters: the IOM Experience in Haiti after January 2010’s Earthquake, in “The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Vol. 12, No 1, February 2011, pp. 47-54.

Sepinuck T., Theatre of Witness. Finding the Medicine in Stories of Suffering, Transformation and Peace, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London 2013.


1 For an introduction to the origins of theatre, see Oliva and Torres, 2005, pp. 20-25.

2 A. Boal, Teatro del Oprimido: Teoría y Práctica, Alba Editorial, Barcelona 2009, p.35-36.

3 J. Fox, Acts of Service: Spontaneity, Commitment, Tradition in the Non scripted Theatre, Tusitala Publishing, New York 1986.

4 J. Salas, Improvising Real Life: Personal Story in Playback Theatre, Tusitala Publishing, New York 1993.

5 G. Gutiérrez, Teología de la liberación: perspectivas, Ediciones Sígueme, Lima 1971.

6 L. Boff , Jesus Cristo Libertador, Ed. Vozes, São Paulo 1972.

7 Freire P., Pedagogía del oprimido, Tierra Nueva Editores, Lima 1970.

8 I. Martin-Baró, Acción e ideología. Psicología social desde Centroamérica, UCA Editores, San Salvador 1983.

9 A. Boal, Estética de los Oprimidos, Alba Editorial, Barcelona 2012.

10 A. Boal, cit., p.11.

11 Plato, Symposium, CreateSpace, South Carolina 2007, p.67.

12 F. de Roux, Francisco De Roux: el alma de la reconciliación, in El Tiempo, No. 77, 2018, url:

13 E.S. Herman and N. Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Vintage, New York 1995.

14 H. Aristizábal, “Buscando la paz más allá de un acuerdo. Entrevista a Héctor Aristizábal”, in “UNI-PLURI/VERSIDAD”, Universidad de Antioquia, Vol. 17, N.° 2, 2017, pp.102-112.

15 H. Aristizábal, Reconectando, 2019. url:

16 H. Aristizábal and D. Lefer, Blessing Next to the Wound. A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation, Lantern Books, Los Angeles 2010.

17 T. Sepinuck, Theatre of Witness: Finding the Medicine in Stories of Suffering, Transformation and Peace, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London 2013.

18 N. Losi, Psychosocial and Trauma Response in War-Torn Societies. Supporting Traumatized Communities through Arts and Theatre, in “Psychosocial Notebook”, Vol. 3, 2002.

19 G. Schininà et al, Social Theatre, Community Mobilization and Sensitization after Disasters: the IOM Experience in Haiti after January 2010’s Earthquake, in “The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Vol. 12, No 1, February 2011, pp. 47-54.

20 A. Miramonti, How to Use Forum Theatre for Community Dialogue, A facilitator’s Handbook, Lulu, North Carolina 2017.

21 R. Grainger, Drama and Healing, Jessica Kingsley, London 1990.

22 P. Jones, Drama as Therapy, Psychology Press, London 1996.

23 M. Meade, The Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of the Soul, Green Fire Press, Massachusetts 2011.

Angelo Miramonti is Professor of Performing Arts and Community at the Departmental Institute of Fine Arts in Cali, Colombia. Trained in Theatre of the Oppressed, Drama Therapy and Theatre of Witness, since 2009, he facilitated workshops and staged plays in Europe, Africa and Latin America. He also coordinated programmes for the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Uganda and Congo and worked for UNICEF in Senegal, in programmes to protect children from violence and exploitation. In 2014-17 he carried out anthropological research on healing processes using dance and trance among the Lebu women in Senegal. In 2018, he published Amina. Portrait of a Woman Inhabited by Ancestral Spirits – An Ethnography of Possession Cults in Senegal. In 2017 he published How to Use Forum Theatre for Community Dialogue – A Facilitator’s Handbook (in English, French, Italian and Spanish). Since 2017 he has been carrying out a research project on the use of arts and participatory theatre to accompany reconciliation and conflict transformation in the Colombian armed conflict.