Theater of the Recruits: Boal Techniques in the New York Police Academy
Department of Justice and Human Services
Lt. Grace Telesco is head of the behavioral science department at the New York Police Academy, where 1,300 recruits are trained each year in a seven-month program. Telesco uses the work of Augusto Boal and other theater techniques as part of the curriculum at the police academy.
ALISA SOLOMON How did you come to use Boal and other theater techniques in police training?
GRACE TELESCO Over the last two years we changed the curriculum tremendously. The Louima incident [Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, was tortured by police officers in a Brooklyn station house in 1997] had sparked much outrage--rightfully so--and one recommendation, out of eighty-five of them for the department, was to look at the curriculum and seriously change it. At the time I was in charge of recruitment. The director of training asked if I'd like to come chair the social science department and help rewrite the curriculum.
Telesco, G. A., & Solomon, A. (2001). Theater of the Recruits: Boal Techniques in the New York Police Academy. Theater, 31 (3), 55-61. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/shss_facarticles/76