The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) presents

Looking at the Politics of the Theater of the Oppressed through Forum Theater
a three-day workshop facilitated by Julian Boal and Marie-Claire Picher

Friday, July 5, 2013 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm;
Saturday, July 6 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; and
Sunday, July 7 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

at The Brecht Forum
451 West Street (West Side Highway at Bank Street, one block north of
West Eleventh Street)
New York City

This three-day workshop is an outgrowth of a collaboration and some conversations that took place over the years between Julian Boal, TOPLAB facilitator Marie-Claire Picher and other members of TOPLAB.
In this workshop we will look at the politics of everyday life and at the specific politics of the Theater of the Oppressed and situate both within the larger global movement for radical political change and
revolutionary social restructuring. Through Forum Theater presentations we will look at how change is possible, and consider ways that people might make it happen.

In Forum Theater, workshop participants (the "actors") are asked to tell a story about oppression, taken from daily life and based on their real experiences of oppression, and where there was no
resolution to the oppressive circumstance or condition. A skit presenting that problem is improvised and presented to an audience. The original solution attempted by the protagonist (the person who was the object of the oppressive behavior or circumstance) must contain at least one social or political pitfall that either contributed to the failure to eliminate the oppressive behavior or condition, or allowed it to continue to be perpetuated.

When the skit is over, the audience discusses the attempted solution as it was presented in the skit, and then the scene is performed once more. But now, audience members are urged to intervene by stopping the action, coming on stage to replace the protagonist, and enacting their own ideas about how to end the condition of oppression. Thus, instead of remaining passive, the people in the audience become active "spect-actors" who now create alternative solutions and control the dramatic action. The aim of the forum is not to find an ideal solution, but to invent new ways of confronting oppression.
This workshop is open to all and no prior theater experience is necessary to participate. The number of places available is limited and pre-registration is required. Please write to
for further information.

(Note: On Friday evening, July 5 at 8:00 pm Julian Boal will present a talk on Marxism and the Theater of the Oppressed. This talk is included in the workshop tuition and is also open to the general public.)

Julian Boal is based in Rio de Janeiro and is an international practitioner of Theater of the Oppressed. He is a founder of Groupe du Théâtre de l'Opprimé and author of Images of a Popular Theatre.

Marie-Claire Picher is a co-founder (1990) of the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) and has worked and collaborated closely with Augusto Boal until his death in 2009. One of the most experienced Theater of the Oppressed practitioners in North America, she has presented thousands of hours of TO facilitation training in New York and throughout the United States, as well as in Chiapas, Tabasco, Mexico City, Guatemala and Cuba.

Tuition–sliding scale: $195-$225

Register online at


Also through the Brecht Forum:

Spring 2013 Events
except where noted, all events take place at:
The Brecht Forum
451 West Street
New York City

Saturday, March 16
Introducing the Clown
facilitated by by Reka Polonyi and Jennifer Sargent
info at
Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21
facilitated by Marie-Claire Picher
info at
Saturday, May 11
Approaches to Consensus-Building Using Forum Theater
facilitated by Marie-Claire Picher and others TBA
info at
Saturday, May 25
Image Theater: Looking at Aging–Its Effects on Families, Caregivers and the Aging Person
facilitated by Marie-Claire Picher
details to come
Friday, June 7 – Sunday, June 9 (exact date to be announced)
TOPLAB at the Left Forum 2013 at Pace University
Left Forum info at
Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16
Rainbow of Desire facilitated by Marie-Claire Picher
info at
Friday, July 5, Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7
Looking at the Politics of the Theater of the Oppressed through Forum Theater
facilitated by Julian Boal and Marie-Claire Picher
info at