Theatre is a primal language that used to be spoken by everyone; everyone included the "living community".
Weaving together Systems Theory and the groundbreaking work of Fritjof Capra , Theatre of the Oppressed and the revolutionary work of Augusto Boal , and his own 25 years of practical experience in community-based popular theatre, David Diamond creates a silo-busting book that embraces the complexity of real life.
Some of the questions Theatre for Living asks and attempts to answer: From a perspective of biology and sociology, how is a community a living thing? How do we design a theatre practice to consciously work with living communities to help them tell their stories? How do we accomplish this without demonizing those characters with whom we disagree? Must we constantly do battle to defeat an endless stream of oppressors, or can we imagine a world in which we stop creating them? Why is this important? What should we be on the look-out for (both positive and negative) when doing this work? What practical games and exercises can we use to awaken group consciousness?
Who will be interested in Theatre for Living? Artists; community development workers; educators; activists; people working in social services, mediation and conflict resolution; health care professionals; anyone with an interest in finding new ways to approach the intersection of culture and social justice.
"I greatly admire the achievements of David Diamond and his Headlines Theatre. He is following his own path, doing extraordinary and groundbreaking work in several fields, like his work with many First Nations communities in Canada and the US, and his adaptation of Forum Theatre on TV and on the Internet. This book relates the experiences of his life in theatre. For what he has already done, is doing, and certainly will do, David Diamond deserves all our support."
Augusto Boal, founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, author of Theatre of the Oppressed, Rainbow of Desire, and Legislative Theatre
David Diamonds work has been an inspiration to performers, artists, community leaders throughout Canada and beyond. The ideas in Theatre for Living are large, daring, challenging; but the steps by which Diamond follows and implements the ideas are precise and accessible. As I read I found myself being taken further and further into the life that is both theatre and the making of theatre, which is to say I was led into how life can be given its meaning.
Hugh Brody, anthropologist and film-maker, author of Maps And Dreams, Living Arctic and The Other Side of Eden