Theses and Dissertations

The Politics of Sexual Assault on the Theatrical Stage: How Theatre for Social Change Challenges Systems of Oppression

Gerry Rodriguez, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Copyright 2023 The Author. All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

The critical introduction analyzes how theatre has been used as a tool to directly address politics and influence social change. Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed has been of particular importance and influence in contemporary theatre which directly mirrors the failures of society by representing the people who are most affected. The purpose of theatre for social change is to accurately represent oppression within communities and inspire audiences to play an active role in finding solutions for these oppressive systems once they leave the comfort of the theatre. The critical introduction is followed by the full-length play, Victim Does Not Remember, which chronicles the aftermath of the sexual assault of university student, Valerie Lynn. The play utilizes hybridity by including film in order to document the night in question. The purpose of the play is to highlight rape culture in the forms of society, law enforcement, the criminal justice system, social media, and the news. The play also stages the inadequacies in resources provided to victims of sexual assault as well as the lack of policies meant to prevent and protect victims of sexual assault.