Bell Hooks states in her text Feminist Theory: From Margins to Center that there is a "missing link" between feminist theory and praxis (113). This creates a "tug-of-war" mentality in higher education between practitioners and academics (hooks 113). Paulo Freire also challenges education structures with his critique of "the banking system" in his text Pedagogy of the Oppressed (72). In 1971, Augusto Boal created a venue of theatre founded on these educational challenges called Theatre of the Oppressed that allows for discussion, participation, and a shared experience between actors and audience members. In this research, I demonstrate the use of Theatre of the Oppressed at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU) in March 2012. In order to study how this style of education contributes to feminist pedagogy, a performance titled "When..." was presented on the MNSU campus. The topics addressed in the production are relationship violence, consent, risk reduction, and bystander intervention. Survey and focus group interview research methods were used to gather audience members' and actors' responses to the production. The results display the success of "When..." at MNSU and explore areas for continued research with Theatre of the Oppressed and feminist pedagogy. Key theorists used in this study are Augusto Boal, Paulo Freire, and Bell Hooks.


Maria Bevacqua

Committee Member

Heather Hamilton

Committee Member

Leah White

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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