Guerrilla Theatre

Guerrilla theatre is a form of theatrical protest popularised in America in the 1960s by the San Fransisco Mime Troupe. Commedia dell’Arte and satire were actually the group’s principal modes of performance, not mime. At its purest, guerrilla theatre was left-wing political activism in the form of avant-garde theatre performed in non-traditional spaces such as public parks and sidewalks. – Justin Cash

Original transcript of R.G. Davis (San Fransisco Mime Troupe) manifesto “Guerrilla Theatre” from the Summer 1966 issue of Tulane Drama Review.

Essay by Jeffrey C. Jaffe linking the characteristics of Guerrilla Theatre to Augusto Boal’s forum theatre and the medieval practice of mumming.

Bread And Puppet Theater

Wikipedia entry on the origins of guerrilla theatre, its practice, and post-1970s performance theatre.

Essay on the emergence of guerrilla theatre detailing the form’s three main phases in 1960s America.

Excellent article by Firat Güllü about the activities of the San Fransisco Mime Troupe in the 1960s, their ideals, links to Commedia dell’Arte, and the splinter group the Diggers in New York.

Essay on the common features of guerrilla theatre and the various forms it can take.

Useful section of an article by Angela Rothman on the history of the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Academic thesis “Creating Change Through Spectacle: Art, Life, and Politics in 1960s Guerrilla Theatre” discussing its lead-up, birth, and other agitational guerrilla theatre groups in America.


NPR article on the history America’s Bread and Puppet Theater, a political / guerrilla theatre company featuring oversized puppets.

New York Times article celebrating the 50th anniversary of the San Fransisco Mime Troupe in 2009 with a look back on its history.

Academic thesis by Angela Rothman “Revolutionary Theatricality: Dramatized American Protest, 1967-1968” includes a detailed investigation of the San Fransisco Mime Troupe and other guerrilla theatre groups.