Empathy and Moral Education, Theatre of the Oppressed, and The Laramie Project

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Notable theorists have argued that theatre and drama play positive roles in the moral education of children and adults, including cultivating their capacity for empathy. Yet other theorists have expressed concerns that plays and educational practices involving improvisation might not lead to positive changes in real life, and might even have negative influences on actors and audiences. This paper focuses in particular on the dramatic methods employed by Theatre of the Oppressed, devised by Augusto Boal, and on the methods involved in the development of the play The Laramie Project, developed by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theatre Project. It argues that Theatre of the Oppressed and The Laramie Project cultivate actors’ and audiences’ empathetic capacities, while overcoming many theorists’ worries about the impact of drama.


Journal of Moral Education


Taylor & Francis Group


College of Arts and Sciences

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