Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Emily Hauptmann

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Isaak

Third Advisor

Dr. Arnie Johnston

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis explores how scholars have defined reconciliation along with the difficulty of doing so. Focusing especially on the Chilean and Argentinean experiences, I argue for the necessity of attaining political or national reconciliation after periods of violent authoritarian rule. I consider truth and reconciliation commissions and detail the mandates under which some have operated. My premise is that although truth and reconciliation commissions are a wonderful tool for facilitating reconciliation, their legalistic and structured nature keeps them from being all that is needed to achieve reconciliation. I suggest that the creative nature of theatre makes it the perfect complement to the work of the commissions. I comment on the malleable nature of theatre and why it is such a successful tool both for oppressors in maintaining their superior status as well as for victims in their struggles to overcome their oppression. I conclude by surveying some works of theatre from Argentina and Chile and their contributions towards achieving reconciliation.