- NEW BOOKS AVAILABLE!
TACTICAL PERFORMANCE: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play
ELECTORAL GUERILLA THEATRE: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements
More Creative Activism & Guerrilla Performance
Tags1000 Coffins articles Billionaires for Bush books christian white CIRCA cointelpro comics creative activism dissent drawings electoral guerrilla theatre flyers games guerrilla theatre irony lecture live performance news OEA performance performances political Prostest protest publication public speaking Radical Ridicule satire script scripts serious play surprise tactical performance
Many years ago, I wrote a play about the FBI’s COINTELPRO activities based on declassified documents, called COINTELSHOW A PATRIOT ACT. It was published by PM Press in 2011 and I’ve continued to update it and perform it in venues ranging from theatres, galleries, labor halls and even in a tent at Burning Man. A long held dream came true on February 12 and 13 of these year when Chris Brandjes and I performed it at the legendary San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Studio. The space was filled both nights with fired-up audiences who laughed, groaned, and hissed beautifully during the show and asked great qeustions during our Q&A sessions afterwards.
After years of research, revision, and readjusting the clown nose on my gasmask, the new book is out and ready. It’s based on 15 years of research on, and participation in, creative and performance-based activism. I hope you find it useful and even a little entertaining. You may even find yourself in there.
Please order it, or request it for your town or campus library. Ask your local bookstore to carry it. Consider using it in your curriculum, discussion group, or flip through it for ideas when planning a creative action.
Please share this on social media and just pass the word in whatever way you can. Write a review about it for a journal or magazine or blog. Any or all of the above will help get the word out about the book.
I’d love to hear your feedback.
Here’s where you can find the book to order. It’s also available on other websites:
TACTICAL PERFORMANCE: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play
A LITTLE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BOOK:
Tactical Performance explores creative protest in unique depth, looking at the possibilities for direct action and theatrical confrontation with some of the most powerful institutions in the world. It effectively combines theory and practice, illustrating the basic principles of artful activism in an absorbing, accessible manner.
L.M. Bogad draws on his own experience as a writer, performer, and strategist working with groups such as the Yes Men, the Clown Army, Reclaim the Streets, and La Pocha Nostra, to share the most effective nonviolent tactics and theatrics.
An inspiring practical and theoretical guide, Tactical Performance is essential reading for anyone interested in creative pranksterism, subvertisement, cultural sabotage,and the global justice movement.
Lucid, sharp, funny, Bogad’s Tactical Performance is the book we’ve been waiting for on creative activism.
— Diana Taylor, Director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics; Professor of Performance Studies, New York University; author of Performance
Tactical Performance rehearses theatre and social justice strategies at their best: historically connected, culturally informed, alive and nimble in their responses to the political moment. With the savvy of a participant/observer and the acuity of an historian and critic, Bogad provides a lively overview of important activist performances, asking us to reconsider its effects and its promise. A crystal-clear argument in a must-read book for all who care about performance and social change.
— Jill Dolan, Annan Professor of English, Princeton University, and author of Utopia In Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre
Beautifully written; a playful, potent mixture of history, how-to, and theory, informed by the author’s many years of personal front-line experience.
— The Yes Men (Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno)
The love child of Lenny Bruce and Saul Alinsky, Bogad has worked, on the street and behind the scenes, at the nexus of some of the most compelling art-interventions of the past 15 years. He brings his truly original and bizarre performance-art sensibility both to his activism and to this ground-breaking book. Read it!
–Guillermo Gómez-Peña, writer, performance artist and pedagogue
Appalling bad taste and worse judgment make Bogad’s interventions memorable and frequently effective. Don’t try this alone at home. These actions should be undertaken with friends, and preferably with very good friends.
— Peter Sellars, theatre and opera director
PS: the 2nd edition of Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements is also out! New! Updated! Improved! With over 20% more prank election campaigns! You can find it at this link, with stories of radical prank election campaigns from the Gnomes of Amsterdam to Pauline Pantsdown to Joan JettBlakk and Stephen Colbert, from Einstein the Dog to the Best Party in Iceland:
PPS You can still by my bizarre and darkly satirical play about COINTELPRO here for just $5. We just did it at the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Studio to some very generous and enthusiastic crowds:
Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements
Routledge Press, 2005.
Across the globe, in liberal democracies where the right to vote is framed as both civil right and civic duty, disillusioned creative activists run for public office on sarcastic, ironic and iconoclastic platforms. “Electoral Guerilla Theatre” explores the recent phenomenon of the satirical election campaign. Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic research, Larry Bogad examines satirical campaigns around the world, placing his analysis in national, cultural, political and legal contexts. “Electoral Guerrilla Theatre” will offer an entertaining, enlightening and informative read for those working across a variety of disciplines, including performance studies, social science, cultural studies and politics. (click here to see if your library has EGT)
“Satire, Surveillance, and The State: a classified primer,” in Research in Drama Education: special issue on Drama for Citizenship and Human Rights Vol. 12, No. 3, November 2007, pp. 383-392
This piece discusses my one-person show, Eradi-Redaction, a cheerfully creepy tour through the wonderful world of FBI surveillance documents.
“Radical Ridicule: Political Satire post-9/11,”
in Radical Society: Review of Culture and Politics. New York: The Center for Social Research and Education, London: Routledge, 29: 3 (October 2002): 10-12.
Reactions to 9/11, and musings on the role of satire in the post-9/11 environment.
Inform yourself! Inform on your neighbor!
Follow Special Agent Christian White on a cheerfully creepy tour of declassified government surveillance documents. White probes the redacted (blacked-out) texts of the FBI’s notorious Counterintelligence Programs, searching for the words erased in the name of the Freedom of Information Act.
This script has been performed by writer/activist L.M. Bogad in theatres, galleries, labor halls, and community centers for the past twelve years. The pamphlet also includes a preface by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and a companion essay by Bogad about the history of domestic surveillance/harassment, and a “how to” for would-be performers of the script.
“Carnivals Against Capital: Radical Clowning and the Global Justice Movement,”
essay in the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies-sponsored collection “The Arts and Cultural Politics of Carnival.”
(Under review by Duke U. Press)
The idea of Bakhtinian “Carnival,” a topsy-turvy, egalitarian moment where the masses enact a fleeting utopia and/or let off some steam, has been discussed in academia ad nauseum. How is this idea relevant to the new social movements, and how have those movements adapted it to their own ideologies?
“Tactical Carnival: Social Movements, Public Space and Dialogical Performance,” in A Boal Companion
eds. Jan Cohen-Cruz and Mady Schutzman. London: Routledge Press, 2006: 46-58.
Why demonstrate? What is the different between occupying space and opening space in social movement mass demonstrations? What role can creative performance, irony, satire, and carnival play in rejuvenating and galvanizing social movements?
“A Place for Protest: The Billionaires for Bush Interrupt the Hegemonologue,”
in Performance and Place,
eds. Hill, Leslie and Helen Paris.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2006: 170-179.
An account of the creative protests against the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004. This piece focuses on the increasingly threatened right to peaceable assembly, and by groups like Billionaires for Bush to get around those restrictions and denials with tactical performance.
“The Revolt of the Senses: Hallucination, Revelation and Resistance in Antonio Buero-Vallejo’s The Foundation,”
in Images of Mental Illness through Text and Performance, ed. Sarah Randolph.
Lewiston, NY: Mellen Press, 2005: 63-71.
Antonio Buero-Vallejo was the Vaclav Havel of Fascist Spain, a powerful dissident playwright and a great dramatic innovator. This piece discusses his “immersion effect” with which he embedded the audience in the delusions and subjectivities of his protagonists.