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The Theory and Practice of Serious Play


2nd edition of ELECTORAL GUERRILLA THEATRE: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements

L. M. Bogad is an author, performer, and the founding Director of the Center for Artistic Activism/West Coast. He writes, performs, and strategizes with mischievous artists such as the Yes Men, Agit-Pop, and La Pocha Nostra. He is a veteran of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director's Laboratory, and a co-founder of the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (www.clownarmy.org). As a theatre professor at the University of California at Davis, he teaches classes such as “Satire, Irony and Protest,” “Tactical Performance,” and “Oppositional Performance and Social Movements.”

His book, Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements, analyzes the international campaigns of performance artists who run for public office as a radical prank. That book, and his many articles on political performance, are used in college classes internationally. Bogad’s next book, Tactical Performance: On the Theory and Practice of Serious Play, analyzes and critiques the use of guerrilla theatre/art for human and civil rights, and for social justice, labor and environmental campaigns.

Bogad’s plays have covered topics such as the Egyptian revolution, the Haymarket Square Riot, the FBI's COINTELPRO activities, the Pinochet coup in Chile, and global climate chaos. His play, COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act was published by PM Press.

Bogad has led Tactical Performance workshops, helping activists create performative, nonviolent images to contest and critique power, in revolutionary Cairo, Reykyavik, Buenos Aires, across the USA and Europe, for the Center for Victims of Torture, as the "Humanities and Political Conflict" Fellow at Arizona State University and at Carnegie Mellon University both as an "Art and Controversy" Fellow, and as a Distinguished Lecturer on Performance and Politics. The British Academy and British Arts and Humanities Research Council funded his documentary, Radical Ridicule: Serious Play and the Republican National Convention. He has been a commentator on political performance on Air America, NPR, Pacifica, Peace Radio, and other radio stations and programs.

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