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Abstract

This essay describes and theorizes the work of contemporary Peruvian theatre as defined by the political atmosphere that reigned from 1970s to the early 21st century. From the beginning, this type of political theatre served different masters and was produced for different consumers. For example, Shining Path Guerrilla used theatre (1978-1983) in order to recruit soldiers for its war against the government; on the other hand Peruvian groups used theatre to protest against human rights abuses by the government and communist guerrillas alike; and even the government itself used performance to convince the public that it was defeating leftist guerrillas. At the end of the armed conflict, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (200 1-2003) worked side by side with Peruvian theatre groups to provide a voice to those silenced by the terrible actions and consequences of a civil war.