But… What is Theatre of the Oppressed?
And How Am I Supposed to Use It?
Sure, sure, Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) describes theatrical forms that the Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal first developed and elaborated on in the 1960s. And we know that Boal was influenced by his close friend, educator, and theorist Paulo Freire, who wrote books such as Pedagogy of the Oppressed. But most importantly, we know Boal often called TO a Rehearsal for Revolution.
Initially, so much of TO feels like games and exercises. And that’s true, they are. TO is designed to take you out of our head and into your body. Because, “if you don’t DO anything different, there won’t BE anything different!” But, it’s also an experiment, trying all sorts of new ideas, in order to use the wisdom of the group to envision how to achieve liberation.
People across the planet have used TO for conflict resolution, to develop campaigns, to address internalized oppression, and to envision a world community they want to live in. Using image theatre, forum theatre, legislative theatre and rainbow of desire can help a group find strategic direction, and work together toward commonly held goals with the kind of trust and deep relationship that are needed. Becoming a skilled TO facilitator, often called a joker, can open up doors to possibilities you never imagined.
Note: this section was adapted from the Forum Project
TO Facilitator Training
We are currently hosting a Theatre of the Oppressed Facilitator Training.
Can't attend our workshop?
We have many opportunities for you to continue your involvement with Woodbine and Theatre of the Oppressed as we continue our development of our own practice, host more TO events and gatherings, and develop and participate in a regional network of TO practitioners.
Stay tuned for more news, information and contact us at: to [at] woodbinecenter [dot] org