October 2012 Workshop Series


This is a notice about past events. For information on upcoming events, click here.

Facilitated by Morgan FitzPatrick Andrews
October 1, 8, 15 and 22 at Studio 34 
4522 Baltimore Ave. West Philadelphia

Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O. for short) has been around for 40 years and is practiced by millions of people in over 70 countries.  It takes on various forms, from games and theatrical warm-ups, to staged plays where the audience has the power to change the ending. Some T.O. workshops are autobiographical reenactments that blur the line between theatre and therapy, some are wordless dialogues spoken by the human body, and some prepare people for taking to the streets to engage in public political discourse and direct action.

Over the course of 4 evenings, we surveyed the different branches of the Theatre of the Oppressed Tree, to understand and experiment with how this awesome tool merges art with activism, and how play can lead to personal change. Every week we used the game Colombian Hypnosis (follow this link for an explanation of the game) to lead us into these forms of T.O. as follows:

  • Week 1: Learning the basics of Colombian Hypnosis and then creating different models to illustrate different systems of power.
  • Week 2: Using Colombian Hypnosis to make Image Theatre, creating still images and then turning them into scenes of oppression.
  • Week 3: Demonstrating Forum Theatre by having those who are hypnotized break free from their hypnotists.
  • Week 4: Moving into more personal experiences by having Colombian Hypnosis segue into the Mask of the Oppressor technique, followed by a demonstration of Rainbow of Desire.
Some of the above terms are explained in greater detail in our online Theatre of the Oppressed Glossary, found here.

T.O. Philly and Youth

Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed strives to make its events accessible for all ages, as well as to those who take care of young people. We do this in a few different ways:
  1. Book your own event: We offer workshops tailored to any age range—kids, adolescents, teens, adults of any decade, and mixed-age groups. Contact us to set up an event or workshop series for your group: 215-730-0982 or "tophilly@gmail.com"
  2. Participate in an event: Some of our regular events are great for young people to attend with their caregivers (most games workshops and Forum Theatre performances for example), while others may be better suited for adults (Cop in the Head, Rainbow of Desire, and other things dealing with mature themes or internalized oppression). If you are a caregiver to young people, you may have a sense of each young person's attention span and ability to engage in workshop activities and discussions. If you're not sure, contact us and we'll figure it out.
  3. Childcare is available at our events for caregiver participants. To use this service, please let us know at least 7 days prior to the date of the event and we will provide childcare on-site, free of charge. If you have requested childcare and need to cancel, please let us know well in advance of the event.
Got questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below!