The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB) and
The Brecht Forum present

The Politics of the Theater of the Oppressed:

Theater of the Oppressed as a Means to Foster High-level Consciousness
and Effective Practice in Political Action

a two-day workshop facilitated by Julian Boal and Marie-Claire Picher

Saturday, June 11, 2011 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and
Sunday, June 12 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

at the Brecht Forum
451 West Street
New York City

When it first originated in Brazil in the late 1960s and early 1970s,
Theater of the Oppressed (TO) was a political and theatrical project
that sought to work with oppressed people and communities toward their
own self-emancipation and to change society and abolish the class
structure that is the underpinning of capitalism. Today, a good amount
of the radical political thrust and focus that motivated and informed
TO as it was originally conceived and formulated is lost in much of
its current practice. This workshop will attempt to return to the
political, pedagogical and theatrical roots that are central to the
theory and praxis of Theater of the Oppressed. With the surging
popularity of "reality TV" and "interactive art" produced by corporate
edict, the accelerated commodification of culture and its ongoing
recuperation by capital, once-genuine participation in daily social
life has too often become nothing more than a fashionable,
radically-chic presentation (and consumption) of culture; in the case
of TO, such presentation compromises the radical sensibility that is
at its core and turns it into a poorly-disguised form of interactive

Julian Boal is based in Paris and 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. She has facilitated thousands of hours of
workshops in New York and throughout the United States, as well as in
Chiapas and Tabasco, Mexico, Mexico City, Guatemala and Cuba.

Tuition–sliding scale: $195-$250
Register online at:


Other Upcoming TOPLAB events

(all at the Brecht Forum, 451 West Street, New York City, except 3/19
at the Left Forum, Pace University, near City Hall in lower Manhattan)

Saturday, March 19 at 3:00 pm in room W627, Pace University: Left
Forum panel–Theater of the Oppressed in Building and Organizing
Communities, with Reg Flowers, Janet Gerson, Kayhan Irani and
Marie-Claire Picher
more info at
General Left Forum info at

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

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