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Welcome to the 2019 Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed Conference Schedule!

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Workshop: The Techniques [clear filter]
Friday, June 14
 

10:45am MDT

Introduction to Techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: In a relatively-short workshop, participants will learn about the history and theory of Theatre of the Oppressed and quickly move to numerous games that anchor T.O., ending with Forum basics. 

Abstract: Along with others, I have offered this workshop for many conferences.  It was inserted into conferences because participants who had no familiarity with T.O. (and/or with P.O.) requested a brief but fulsome intro workshop.  It begins of course with "come closer, come closer", then includes an introduction to the early history and theory of T.O. (and it's relationship to P.O.) , numerous games that represent Boal's desire to de-mechanize and dynamize the senses.  The conclusion uses Boal's Subway as a model of basic Forum Theatre and roles of the protagonist, antagonist(s), bystanders, and allies.  Questions are welcome any time, and a period of time at the end for final questions concludes the workshop. 

Challenging Questions
1. What do you know of Boal/Freire and/or of TO/PO?
2. Why is the metaphor of monologue and dialogue important?
3. To what does a workshop lead beside and beyond mere experience? 

Speakers
avatar for Doug Paterson

Doug Paterson

Emeritus Professor, University of Nebraska @ Omaha
I was instrumental in starting PTO in Omaha in 1995 and have been using it in communities and teaching the techniques since then.  Currently I am working with a radical group, Omaha Tenants United, and have dangled the possibility of the group doing some TO.  Also, my wife, Marghee... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 10:45am - 12:15pm MDT
Aspen 003 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

10:45am MDT

Vice or Not Vice: Group Play Writing Combining Social Issues and Topics in a Group Setting
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: To Vice or not To Vice? That is the Question. In this workshop, participants are encouraged to begin the process of writing a play in a group setting with a technique combined with TO games & images.

Abstract: This workshop would begin with a brief introduction to what is hoped to be accomplished in this brief 90 minute session. We would then start with some theatre of the oppressed games so the facilitator can begin understanding the group and people can share and learn each others names.  We would then create a list of social issues topics and themes and use the technique Vice and Not Vice to a total of 3 Vices to create our play. We would then do an introduction to image theatre and create 3 images using those vices where ever participant is encouraged to be a character in the play. The images we hope to create would be a beginning, middle, and end. We would have a quick reflection for people to share what we saw and then create a play arch collectively. People will then be split into small teams of 2-3 and have 10 minutes to write their scenes. After the 10 minutes, the facilitator will check in with everyone and see if they need more time though they will be encouraged to finish there last thought and come back into a group circle. The facilitator will attempt to create a space for the teams to share, after everyone who wanted to share had the chance to share, we will do an overall reflection of the workshop to close it out.  

Challenging Questions
1. How can young students and participants create spaces where they can continue creating new work?
2. How can we continue using theatre as a tool for being intersectional when combining social issues and themes outside of a play writing environment?
3. How can we work to benefit the group as a whole and push through our the focus on ones own ideas; further, how can we let go of selfish emotions for the sake of creativity? 

Speakers
avatar for Ethan Kankula

Ethan Kankula

Alt Space
Ethan is a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner and teaching artist that has had the honor of working at theatres in the Detroit area such as, Open Book, Outvisible, Matrix, Monster Box, B&B, Shakespeare In Detroit, and Wild Swan. He is currently directing a psychological thriller... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 10:45am - 12:15pm MDT
Tundra 008a/b (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

1:30pm MDT

From Playing to Learning to Change: Amani Peoples Theatre Multi-Arts Approaches Experiential Journey of Liberation with Kenyan indigenous Communities
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: Multi-arts methodology and journey of liberation with indigenous people as they respond to myriad challenges ranging from ethnically instigated violence to armed militia fighting for land rights.

Abstract:  An experiential workshop that will see the participants literally “walk the journey of the oppressed.The case study presents the journey of one community in Mt. Elgon Kenya who went through atrocities ranging from destruction of properties, to rape and defilement and killings of people, as different clans and ethnic communities in Mt. Elgon region at the border of Kenya and Uganda went through the worst nightmare of their lives. Fighting for community land rights, the conflict escalated to genocide levels, as different communities took up arms to defend their rights to land against encroachment from other communities. This is perhaps one of the worst human rights violations that Kenya has experienced in the recent past. Which  lead to the worst human rights violations.

Challenging Questions
1. How can we use theatre  of the oppressed in conflict transformation?
2. How can we share our stories/ experiences in kenya with countries?
3. How can indigenous people  respond to myriad challenges ranging from ethnically instigated violence to armed militia fighting for land rights in the republic of Kenya? 

 

Speakers
MO

Maxwel Okuto

Director, Amani People\\\\\\\'s Theatre
Maxwel is an applied theatre practitioner in the field of theatre and development , theatre of the oppressed and Story telling with experience in Human rights, Peace and Conflict Transformation, Advocacy, and Mentoring youths .Has over 8 years of experience in local civil society... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
VAIL 001 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

1:30pm MDT

Introduction to Pedagogy of the Oppressed: Conscientization and Problematization
Limited Capacity seats available

In this hands-on workshop we'll explore foundational concepts of Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed and how they can underscore community analysis of oppressions and ways to take action. With praxis as our goal we'll build culture circles to generate themes for analysis, reflection, and action!

Speakers
avatar for Charles Adams

Charles Adams

University of Minnesota
I've been practicing both PO and TO since 1995 in both school and community settings. I'm also on the board of PTO. 
avatar for Mary C. Parker

Mary C. Parker

Master's Student, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Mary C. Parker is a Master’s student studying Applied Theatre at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England and Board of Director for Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, Inc. Prior to returning to school, Mary utilized her expertise in dialogue facilitation and... Read More →


Friday June 14, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
Aspen 003 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA
 
Saturday, June 15
 

9:00am MDT

Changing Civic Capacity: Applying Popular Education Pedagogy to Public Money
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: Come learn about Participatory Budgeting(PB)--An emerging method that gives the people control over public money. 

Abstract: There is nothing more sexy than public budgets? Am I right? However, despite their power to bore folks to tears, budgets communicate priorities and values more so than any mechanism of politics and public life. And, in an era of widespread resistance and dissatisfaction with the established political parties and governance norms, people are demanding an end to politics as usual, this includes spending tax dollars without involving and engaging the people. 

Here is the good news. Despite the dominance of minimal democracy and non participatory structures, there are proven methods of participatory democracy. This session will focus on one emerging practice: Participatory Budgeting (PB), a process that emerged out of post-dictatorship restructuring in Brazil and for the last 30 years it has demonstrated its potential to increase civic capacity, increase government effectiveness and broaden political participation. PB is a process that allows the public to propose, design and vote on projects that are funded through public funds.

This session will provide an overview of PB, its history, and relevant cases. We will also conduct a mock PB session to get a feel for its potential to transform models of civic engagement. Participants will leave with knowledge of PB cases, a summary of the presenter’s research, and an expanded imagination of the potential for this participatory democratic process. 

Challenging Questions
1. What is PB, and why is it relevant to your work?;
2. How do those who participate in PB demonstrate changes in their civic capacity?;
3. What does a PB process look like, and how does it feel to be a part of it? 

Speakers
AH

Amanda Hudson

Ph.D. Candidate & Education & Research Coordinator, Portland State University
Amanda Hudson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Studies, specializing in Community Development and Popular Education at Portland State University. Her research on Participatory Budgeting focuses on its potential to make civic engagement relevant and fun, and its potential to increase... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am MDT
Aspen 003 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

9:00am MDT

Re-Distributing the Means of Vocal Production: Voice Training as a Tool of Political Intervention
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: This workshop will combine Boal's exercises with the voice, looking at how voice training can be utilised as a tool of undoing and contesting socially structured oppressions on the voice. 

Abstract: Boal discusses training bodies in the practices of Theatre of the Oppressed as a form of consciousness raising. He describes using theatre to train the body of the participant, 'to raise them to the level of consciousness’ (Boal 2008: 104). Training allows the participant to become aware of how alienation has impacted upon her body: how economic, cultural and social structures mark the body. Training is a training in noticing how the world marks the body and accordingly changes the subject’s relationship to the world. In my practice I have combined Boal’s practice of training bodies as a form of consciousness raising and resistance to bodily alienation with techniques of voice training. I brought together the techniques of prominent voice teachers Kristen Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg with the principles of Theatre of the Oppressed to explore how the voice has been marked by structural repressions of class, gender, race etc., and to what extent this training can provide tools to begin to fight back by resisting and transforming these repressions. I undertook this practice with groups of young women in the United Kingdom, where I led voice workshops that explored the participants’ understanding of political engagement. In this workshop I would like to demonstrate how I applied the principles of Theatre of the Oppressed to the practice of voice training, using the specific example of how I adapted image theatre as a way for the young women to explore oppression and liberation of the voice. Departing from images and dialogue, this workshop focuses on the non-verbal voice as a way to express and articulate both social oppression and vocalisations of resistance against this oppression.
 
Challenging Questions
1. How can the concept of training be used as a liberatory and political practice?
2. How is the voice marked by social structures and how does voice training contest this?
3. How can Theatre of the Oppressed practices specifically target the question of voice?   

Speakers
DS

Dr. Sarah Weston

University of Leeds / Salford Community Theatre
I have been working in community and applied theatre in the north of England for the last 6 years, specifically working with working-class communities in post-industrial cities. I have some experience in Theatre of Oppressed work and Boal technique through working with theatre companies... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am MDT
Wolf Den 005 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

1:30pm MDT

Improvisation as a Pedagogy for Civic Engagement
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: Through improv games and interactive demos, we’ll discuss methods and intervention points for facilitators, educators, and community leaders to examine improvisation in the context of civic engagement 

Abstract: Improv is becoming increasingly appreciated as a tool for social transformation. All over the world, businesses, universities, and community organizations are looking for creative new ways to solve enduring problems, and improv training has become more and more popular for leaders in those spaces. Improvisers train in listening, supporting, and being present – these core principles have a far-reaching resonance, and are vital for successful social justice work.

In this session, participants will explore how the principles of improv can be highlighted in their existing work and/or brought into new social justice spaces to support team-building, productive dialogue, and facilitate group dynamics. We will engage in a series of exercises and interactive demos, and discuss how the underlying principles of improv can enhance existing practices or provide new language or frameworks for leading improv-based activities. Time and space will be provided for participants to play with, explore, and rehearse using key takeaways in their work and lives outside of the workshop. 

Challenging Questions
1. What are the best ways to illuminate the civic engagement opportunities that are latent in a creative process – like Theatre of the Oppressed – that features improvisation as a core component?

2. How can we deepen our understanding of the discipline of improvisation to enhance our social justice work?

3. How do we broaden our understanding of the possibilities of improv-based work, and bring it into other “extra-theatrical” (outside-of-the-theatre) spaces? 

Speakers
avatar for Olivia Hartle

Olivia Hartle

PhD student, Point Park University
Olivia Hartle is a theatre director, improviser, facilitator, and coach, and she is currently working on her PhD in Community Engagement at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to relocating to Pittsburgh, Olivia was active in the New York theatre scene, where she ran BIG... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
VAIL 001 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

1:30pm MDT

Newspaper Theatre: Analyzing Together for Collective Momentum
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: Come explore Boal’s Newspaper Theatre techniques alongside adaptations of them. We’ll build on our 2018 PTO workshop, focusing more on adaptations, but all are welcome, and no experience is necessary! 

Abstract: How can Newspaper theatre help us analyze how information is manipulated and weaponized? How can it help us draw people together in space for collective analysis and collective action? How can it offer us a container for communication that can be quickly mobilized in public space to call collective attention to a problem or oppression? In “The Fourth Category of Popular Theatre: Newspaper Theatre,” Augusto Boal writes, “Newspaper Theatre seeks to popularize ‘the means of making theatre’ so that the people themselves can use them and make their own theatre. To use the analogy present in the title of this method—though we have our own presses, we don’t try to print our own paper and make it popular; our endeavor is to hand over our own presses to the people, so they can print their own paper.” Developed by Augusto Boal and Arena Theatre colleagues, Newspaper Theatre aims to dismantle the "pretended 'objectivity' of most journalism," and it offers an astonishingly portable set of techniques that can be taken up very quickly to make compelling protest theatre to activate public space and connect people in critical exploration. This workshop—facilitated by organizers of the collective/popular theatre space known as Theatre of the Oppressed and Activism in Chicago—includes some focus on Boal's eleven core techniques of Newspaper Theatre, but it builds on previous content that we have shared at PTO, this year with particular focus on contemporary adaptations and variations. We aim for the workshop to be useful to those who have taken other Newspaper Theatre workshops with us before and to those who have not. All are welcome; no experience necessary. Our materials are available in English and Spanish. 

Challenging Questions
1. How can Newspaper theatre help us analyze how information is manipulated and weaponized inside the systems of power we want to change?
2. How can it help us draw people together in space for collective analysis and collective action and thereby work against individualization and privatization?
3. How can it offer us a container for communication that can be quickly mobilized in public space to call collective attention to a problem or oppression?  

Speakers
KH

Kelly Howe

Loyola University Chicago
I teach at Loyola University Chicago, organize a range of school and community workshops, residencies, and community education spaces/opportunities in the Chicago area and beyond, participate in other activism, and am an editor/researcher in the areas of Theatre of the Oppressed and... Read More →


Saturday June 15, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
Tundra 008a/b (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA

1:30pm MDT

“More than a Table, Six Chairs, and a Bottle”: The Great Game of Power as a Tool for Social Analysis
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: This workshop will explore the Great Game of Power as outlined in Games for Actors and Non-Actors and how it can be used within a longer process  to identify key issues of power.  

Abstract: This workshop will explore the Great Game of Power which is outlined in Augusto Boal’s Games for Actors and Non-Actors. Boal places this game in the section “The invention of space and the spatial structures of power” so I have found it appropriate as a tool for social analysis and understanding of how power and structures of power work. I have used this activity both for analyzing global power structures but also in particular occupations like student teachers, youth workers, and organizational development consultants. I also have found it provided a good link to “Stand by the Character” whereby in the final steps of the activity, participants stand behind the part of the power structure that they can identify with. I then link this activity to “Image of the Ideal” as well as “Your Wildest Dream” (developed by David Diamond of Theatre for Living) whereby characters/participants discuss in their character/participant groups what next steps can be taken by them in addressing or transforming the power structure. We will both explore this activity and its further potential (or how workshop participants have used it) but also use it as an example for how a simple TO/PO activity can be used within a longer workshop or process to identify key issues of power and to imagine what other activities/.games could enhance its effect. 

Challenging Questions
1. How might an activity such as this be used to enhance understandings of power at both the individual and systemic levels?
2. How would an activity such as this be adapted and/or transformed for particular contexts or goals?
3. What can we learn from this one activity in terms of how we choose activities as part of a longer workshop or organizing process of social analysis and action? 

Speakers
WL

Warren Linds

Associate Professor, Concordia University
Been doing this work for over 30 years. Attended multiple PTO conferences. Primary work has been with Indigenous youth in Western Canada, as well as incorporating the work into critical creative pedagogical practice in my teaching and facilitating. 


Saturday June 15, 2019 1:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
Aspen 003 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA
 
Sunday, June 16
 

9:00am MDT

Creating Classroom Culture: Theatre of the Oppressed Games with Children
Limited Capacity seats available

Program Description: Explore a Theater of the Oppressed game series adapted for children to transform classroom culture around body-autonomy, sharing personal narratives, boundary setting, consent, and communication. 

Abstract: In both formal and informal learning spaces, children interpret and adopt the culture and rules of their social environment. These spaces provide an invaluable opportunity for youth and adults to co-create ways of being together that liberate as opposed to oppress. Based on work with 5-13 year old girls in an after school program, this workshop explores how the aspects of demechanization, dynamization, and group processing in Theater of the Oppressed games engage youth directly in practices of consent, boundary-setting, story sharing, and non-violent communication. The games, and the process by which they are facilitated, create a space where individual autonomy and personal truth is balanced with awareness of and accountability to the group.

Theater of the Oppressed games, and their engagement with issues of power and privilege, invite young folk into deep level of autonomy over their play space. They determine rules, values, and styles of communication authentic to them, instead of replicating the oppressive culture they encounter in adult spaces. The aspects of demechanization and dynamization provide youth a laboratory for group inquiry, revision, and creation. They are invited to determine the value of story sharing, non-violence, and bodily autonomy through their own experiences. This workshop will move through a series of Theater of the Oppressed games that were played with children over the course of a year in an after school program, where the goal was to create a community of peer support, inclusion, safety, and respect. It looks at the moments of dynamization and demechanization in these games, and how they provide experiences with bodily autonomy, story sharing, and non-violent communication for children. 

Challenging Questions
1. How can Theater of the Oppressed’s “Games for Actors and Non-Actors” create a body-inclusive and body-autonomous classroom culture?

2. How does TO support children in owning their own narratives & honoring the narratives of their peers?

3. How can TO support children in developing language around boundary setting, consent, and non-violent communication?  

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Giffin

Sarah Giffin

InsightfulPlay
I trained in Theater of the Oppressed with S. Leigh Thompson and Alex Santiago-Jirau through The Forum Project. From formal trainings to an Occupy the Stage project, to a few years with their forumperformance troupe, to more intimate community-based work, I had the privilege of working... Read More →


Sunday June 16, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am MDT
Aspen 003 (Lower Level) 2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81001, USA