TOPLAB Panel at the Left Forum:

Theater of the Oppressed in Building and Organizing Communities

Saturday, March 19 at 3:00 pm in room W627, Pace University

This year's Left Forum takes place from Friday, March 18, 2011 through
Sunday, March 20. It will be held at Pace University in lower Manhattan,
right near City Hall. There are hundreds of panels and workshops, and
several thousand people are expected to attend. It is one of the most
exciting left events to take place anywhere.

Complete Left Forum information is at:

Please note that the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) is
presenting a panel entitled "Theater of the Oppressed in Building and
Organizing Communities". Panelists include TOPLAB facilitators Janet
Gerson, Kayhan Irani and Marie-Claire Picher, as well as Falconworks
Artists Group founder and director Reg Flowers. It will take place on
Saturday, March 19 from 3:00 to 4:50 pm in room W627.

Here is the panel abstract:

Theater of the Oppressed (TO) is a methodology and set of techniques that
has its origins in the popular education movement that developed in Brazil
during the 1950s and 1960s. It was founded by the late Augusto Boal in the
early 1970s and since then has been used around the world by activists and
organizers fighting against oppression in all its forms as a tool to help
mobilize communities in struggle. In the United States context, TO has
been successfully applied in immigrant rights organizing, in anti-racism
education, in community leadership training, and in many other projects
and endeavors that are striving for social justice and radical change. In
this panel, the presenters–all long-time TO practitioners–will talk
about how they and the communities and constituencies with whom they have
worked applied TO techniques to build solidarity, a sense of community,
and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for
social transformation.

In addition, TOPLAB facilitator Kayhan Irani will be featured on two other
panels, "The Challenge of Creating a Culture of Culture on the US Left"
(Saturday, March 19 at 10:00 am in room W504) and "Sharing a Culture for
the US Left" (Sunday at noon in room E318). Both of these related panels
are sponsored by the Activist Poets Roundtable. Other panelists are Amy
Paul, Fred Ho, John Pietaro and Steve Bloom.

The Left Forum developed out of the Socialist Scholars Conference, which
began in 1981, and has been ongoing every year since then. It is, perhaps,
North America's premier left event and many of the world's most
famous–and infamous–political thinkers, theorists and activists have
presented there. Each year, several thousand people assemble, representing
nearly every sector, tendency and focus of the global left, and the
concerns and issues discussed at the Left Forum mirror those that engage
civil society and people uniting and organizing for radical social change

We hope that you will join TOPLAB and all the other activists at this
year's Left Forum.

More info:


Other Upcoming TOPLAB events

(all at the Brecht Forum, 451 West Street, New York City)

Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27: Cop-in-the-Head
more info at

Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17: Rainbow of Desire
more info at

Saturday, Sunday and Monday May 28-30: Invisible Theater
more info at

Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12: Workshop with Julian Boal–The Politics
of the Theater of the Oppressed
write to for more info

June (dates to be announced): Rashomon
write to for more info

"We must emphasize: What Brecht does not want is that the spectators
continue to leave their brains with their hats upon entering the theater,
as do bourgeois spectators….I believe that all the truly revolutionary
theatrical groups should transfer to the people the means of production in
the theater so that the people themselves may utilize them. The theater is
a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it." –Augusto Boal
(1931-2009), founder of the Theater of the Oppressed