Guerrilla theatre

Below are Sketch for a Tragic One-Act Opera, by Robert Moran, and El Pozo, by Graciela Castillo.

Guerrilla theatre generally rendered ‘guerrilla theater’ in the US, is a form of guerrilla communication originated in 1965 by the San Francisco Mime Troupe, who, in spirit of the Che Guevara writings from which the term guerrilla is taken, engaged in performances in public places committed to ‘revolutionary sociopolitical change.’ The group performances, aimed against the Vietnam war and capitalism, sometimes contained nudity, profanity and taboo subjects that were shocking to some members of the audiences of the time. Guerrilla (Spanish for ‘little war’), as applied to theatrical events, describes the act of spontaneous, surprise performances in unlikely public spaces to an unsuspecting audience. Typically these performances intend to draw attention to a political/social issue through satire, protest, and carnivalesque techniques. Many of these performances were a direct result of the radical social movements of the late 1960s through mid-1970s. Guerrilla Theater, also referred to as guerrilla performance, has been sometimes related to the agitprop theater of the 1930s, but it is differentiated from agitprop by the inclusion of Dada performance tactics. The term Guerrilla Theater was coined by Peter Berg, who in 1965 suggested it to R.G. Davis as the title of his essay on the actions of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, an essay that was first published in 1966. The term ‘guerrilla’ was inspired by a passage in a 1961 Che Guevara essay, which read: The guerrilla fighter needs full help from the people…. From the very beginning he has the intention of destroying an unjust order and therefore an intention… to replace the old with something new. Davis had studied mime and modern dance in the 1950s and had discovered commedia dell’arte. In autumn 1966 around 20 members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe broke off and started their own collective called the Diggers, who took their name from a group of 17th century radicals in England. Guerrilla theater shares its origins with many forms of political protest and street theatre including agitprop (agitation-propaganda), carnival, parades, pageants, political protest, performance art, happenings, and, most notably, the Dada movement and guerrilla art. …”
The Revolution Will Be Archived: The 1960s at Northwestern
What Happened in San Francisco’s Parks?

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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