Borderlands: Boundaries & Intersections

Photos: Natasha Cohen-Carroll
A 2-Day Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop
with Paloma Irizarry & Hariprasad Kowtha

WHEN: February 4 & 5 • 10AM-4PM each day
TUITION: $40-$120, sliding scale
LUNCH? Included!
or call 267-282-1057
Click here to pay online.

Did you have a wall or a fence around your home when you were growing up? If so, who built it? Who or what was the fence meant to protect? Who did the fence keep out? How easy was it to get onto the other side of the fence? What obstacles did you face when trying to pass through?

Based on Gloria Anzaldzúa's seminal work, Borderland/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed is exploring the borderlands between nation-states, the borderlands between languages, the borderlands between neighborhoods and the borderlands between work and home. Using the tools of Image Theatre: movement and stillness, acting and witnessing, observing and storytelling, participants will dive deeply into a study on personal boundaries and the intersections that lie in between.

Join T.O. Philly in a physical and interactive practice as we play games, practice exercises and create scenes designed to confront where each of us end—and where we begin.

Borderlands, Boundaries & Intersections runs a total of two weekend days from 10AM to 4PM, including an hour break for lunch. A small vegan and gluten free meal will be provided during the break. Dress comfortably for movement and warmth. . Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. To pre-register, email "" or call 267-282-1057. Click her to pay online. All experiences welcome.

The Whole Shebang is located at 11th and Moore Streets. Enter through the parking lot and look for the door on the right.

About the Facilitators:

Paloma N. Irizarry started her Theater of the Oppressed journey at Trinity College while pursuing her B.A. in Theater/Dance. In 2014 she moved to Philadelphia and attended the Blind Games workshops and continued to work with T.O. Philly for its summer project on Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge. At the same time Paloma has appeared in various performances, most recently "Capacity for Veracity", a devised piece created in collaboration with Mondegreen Collective for the Philly Fringe, and Alias Ellis McKenzie, a bilingual telenovela/biographic piece under the direction of Thaddeus Phillips.

Hariprasad Kowtha has dedicated his life to performance as a vector of identity and resistance. He sang bhajans with the South Asian community in Phoenix, Arizona, practiced Carnatic vocals and performed Bharathanatyam. He began practicing large and small group facilitation skills in early high school through the Unitown/Anytown camp program. He currently teaches yoga, meditation and movement at the Ahimsa House and at the Global Leadership Academy Charter School. He joined T.O. Philly for Image Theatre in 2014 and continued facilitating the Unpacking Race series in 2016.

Winter 2017 Workshops on Race and Undoing Racism

A 2-Part Performance Workshop 
February 20+21 • 6:30-9:00 PM 
The Rotunda • 4014 Walnut St.
Tuition $0-$25, sliding scale
Sign up via ""

White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.” 
—Robin DiAngelo

Come workshop white fragility for two evenings with Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed. In part one, popular education and theatre games build group solidarity and chip away at the iceberg of whiteness—that which we see manifests as white fragility, white beneath the surface lie dense systems of white supremacy. In part two we create quick little performances that make the invisible visible (and maybe even comical) as tools for interrupting and dismantling racism. 

Email “” to sign up, or call 267-282-1057. Tuition is sliding scale, $0-$25.

Note: This workshop is an ideal companion to our Unpacking Race series, both for people who will be joining T.O. Philly for Unpacking Race in March, as well as those who have Unpacked Race with us in the past.


A 4-Part Workshop Series 
Every Tuesday in March • 6:30-9:00 PM 
The Rotunda • 4014 Walnut St.
Tuition $45-$125, sliding scale
Worktrade available upon request
Sign up via ""

On Tuesday nights this March we bring back our popular series on race and racism.  Over the course of four weeks we'll explore this topic through a variety of exercises, discussions, and techniques from the Theatre of the Oppressed, supplemented by things to read and do between sessions. Our aim is to unlearn the systemic racism we’ve been taught throughout our lives, to heal from racial privilege and oppression, and to offer starting points for structural and personal change in ourselves, our communities, and our world. 

The March 2017 Unpacking Race Series is open to anyone who can attend all four sessions. Tuition is sliding scale: $45-$125, payable at the first session. To sign up, email "" or leave a message at 267-282-1057. If you are interested in worktrade or childcare, contact us by February 22.

About T.O. Philly

Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O. Philly) is a network of people using the tools of theatre and popular education to dismantle oppression. Much of the work we do is based on the writings and teachings of the late Augusto Boal, who developed the Theatre of the Oppressed in Brazil over 40 years ago. We also draw upon other theatre games and movement traditions, as well as models of popular education like those put forth by Paolo Freire in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

T.O. Philly offers classes, workshops and trainings for groups in Philadelphia and elsewhere. To book a workshop, get in touch with us by calling 267-282-1057 or email ""