The twenty-one years of military dictatorship in Brazil were marked by severe repression as government censors controlled every aspect of the media and artistic production. During these tense years from 1964 to 1985, many journalists, academics, writers, and artists struggled to voice their opposition to oppressive military control. In this same period, many playwrights turned to protest theater as a way to speak out against the dictatorship's abuses. Unsurprisingly, some of the plays produced at this time were heavily censored or shut down. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a young Brazilianist scholar, Ross "Rusty" Butler, befriended, interviewed, and conducted field research on the phenomena of protest theater while living in Brazil. When Butler was preparing to return to the United States after several unsettling events, a few of his new friends asked him to take their works--including some plays that were unpublished and in manuscript form--out of the country in order to avoid censorship. Now, fifty years later, those plays and manuscripts, along with Butler's other research materials, are finally coming to light in the Rusty Butler Archive. The Rusty Butler Archive demonstrates the complex relationship between the military dictatorship, censorship, and cultural production during the 1960s and 70s.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Knapp, Calla J. C., "The Rusty Butler Archive: Revelations of Cultural Repression During the Brazilian Military Dictatorship" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9323.
Brazil, military dictatorship, censorship, protest theater, Rusty Butler