“Combining Playback Theatre & Theatre of the Oppressed for Social Justice” Workshop

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Combining Playback Theatre & Theatre of the Oppressed for Social Justice” Workshop

A special 4-day residential workshop in the New York area.

Mandala Center for Change and the Centre for Playback Theatre present:

Combining Playback Theatre & Theatre of the Oppressed for Social Justice

Facilitated by Hannah Fox & Marc Weinblatt

Where do Playback Theatre (PT) and Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) meet and where do they diverge?

How can practitioners use these methods in tandem to address communities in conflict and a turbulent society?

Join internationally renowned practitioners/trainers, Hannah and Marc, for four rich days of immersion in the rare combination of these powerful Applied Theatre forms.
This is the 6th time they have co-taught workshops in combining TO & PT since 2000 including twice at the School of Playback Theatre (now Centre for Playback Theatre.)

In this workshop, we will:
• provide short introductions to both Theatre of the Oppressed & Playback Theatre.
• present concrete models/examples of how to weave and blend TO and PT forms together in dynamic designs.
• explore issues of race, class, gender, etc. with an aim to create a more just and joyous world for all people.

Special Feature…! Participants are invited to attend a professional Playback performance on Friday night 8/4 by Community Playback Theatre, one of the longest-running Playback troupes in the world. This will be performed on the historic Moreno Stage at Boughton Place – the birthplace of Psychodrama!

These groundbreaking techniques can immediately be utilized by activists, community organizers, teachers, social workers, psychotherapists, theatre artists, cultural animators, or for anyone interested in exploring themselves and the society in which we live.

* While a working knowledge of TO and/or PT is helpful, no previous experience is required to take this course.



[Read Hannah and Marc’s article: “Theatre of the Oppressed and Playback Theatre: Cousins with a Common Cause”]

[Read “Combining Theatre of the Oppressed with Playback Theatre: a Powerful and Delicate Marriage”, by Marc Weinblatt.]

“(Hannah and Marc) have an uncanny intuitive sense, honed by years of experience. It seemed to me, they knew when to push and when not to push. They knew what little piece was missing that could complete the story or exercise.”
     – Previous workshop participant


The entire training will take place at the SUNY New Paltz college campus in beautiful and historical New Paltz, NY (1 ½ hour drive from New York City.)


People flying in from out of state or abroad should fly into Stewart/Newburgh (closest airport) or into JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark (NJ) airport. There are several buses per day from Port Authority bus terminal in New York City to New Paltz. Plan to arrive on Wednesday, August 2nd.

Housing & Food

Though participants are welcome to make their own arrangements for food and lodging in the New Paltz, NY area, we have organized this workshop as a residential experience with room and board at very reasonable rates right on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Housing is single or double occupancy in LeFevre Hall with many amenities including free parking, use of swimming pool, tennis courts, and much more. Cafeteria style meals with multiple entrée options (including vegetarian and vegan) and full salad bar are included – 3 meals/day on the weekdays and 2 meals/day on weekends. Click here for more details on the dorm. Lodging in the dorm is for 4 nights: Wed, Thurs, Fri, & Sat. When you register, please choose either single occupancy or double occupancy (please note roommate of your choice or we will choose one for you). 

If you choose to arrange lodging on your own in the New Paltz area, options include various hotels as well as airbnb.com (network of low-cost vacation rentals) or couchsurfing.org (free lodging network). Even if you don’t add Room & Board through us, you are still welcome to buy individual meals in the SUNY dining hall.

About Playback Theatre

Created by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas as well as members of the original Playback Theatre Company in the Hudson Valley, NY, Playback Theatre is a form of improvisational social action theatre. In a Playback performance, audience members share stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot by trained actors and a musician. Playback Theatre stimulates dialogue through personal story, revealing both commonalities and different perspectives. It promotes deep listening and welcomes any voice to be heard. It is an effective tool used throughout the world to foster connection and build empathy and understanding across differences.

About Theatre of the Oppressed

Created by Brazilian visionary, Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) is a form of popular community based education which uses applied theater as a tool for social change. Originally developed out of Boal’s work with peasant and worker populations to help them explore solutions to their own struggles, it is now used all over the world for social and political activism, conflict resolution, community building, therapy, and government legislation. Designed for non-actors, it uses the universal language of theatre as a springboard for people and whole communities to investigate their lives, identify their dreams, and reinvent their future.


Hannah Fox
Hannah is a Professor of Dance and Theatre at Manhattanville College and the founder of Big Apple Playback Theatre (BAPT), a New York City based multi-cultural Playback troupe dedicated to using interactive theatre as a tool for positive change. BAPT performs and conducts workshops in schools, non-profit agencies, prisons, domestic violence shelters, hospitals, at conferences, colleges, diversity programs, and in public theaters. Their popular school Keep the Peace! anti-bullying program combines Playback Theatre and Theatre of the Oppressed. Hannah teaches Playback Theatre internationally, most recently teaching and performing in Cuba and Brazil. Hannah is the author of Zoomy Zoomy: Improv Games and Exercises for Groups (2010), and is the daughter of the founders of Playback Theatre.

Marc Weinblatt
Founder of the Mandala Center for Change in Port Townsend, WA, Marc has been a professional educator, theatre director, activist, and workshop facilitator since 1980. He is an internationally recognized leader in the use of Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed (T.O.) and has trained thousands in the use of the techniques across the U.S. and from Afghanistan to South Africa. He has worked with communities ranging from police to homeless youth, grassroots organizers and laborers to University deans. Marc regularly facilitates T.O. based diversity / anti-oppression workshops in a wide variety of contexts across the U.S. with a commitment to bringing a deep sense of spirit and humanity into social justice work. Marc has actively combined T.O. and Playback for over 25 years including the last 16 years with the Mandala Center’s multi-ethnic, multi-generational (currently ages 15-76) Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble.

About the Mandala Center for Change

Based in Port Townsend, WA, the Mandala Center is a multi-disciplinary education organization dedicated to community dialogue, social justice and personal transformation. Through experiential workshops, performances, and other creative events, the Mandala Center invites people to be more awake and alive as well as empowered to take action toward a more just and joyous life for all people. The Center is an active hub for the training and grassroots practice of Theatre of the Oppressed. It is also the parent organization for the Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational (15-76 years old) troupe of actor / activists using TO and Playback Theatre to generate dialogue around burning social issues.

About the Centre for Playback Theatre

Created by Jonathan Fox, the co-founder of Playback Theatre with Jo Salas, the Centre for Playback Theatre supports the ethical and artistic development of Playback Theatre worldwide; thereby promoting healthier, more civically engaged and inclusive communities.The Centre offers training courses in Playback Theatre, promotes multi-community projects, and provides administrative support to Playback Theatre companies. Its purpose is also to promote Playback Theatre throughout the world. Launched in 2006, the Centre is an outgrowth of the School of Playback Theatre, which has been offering comprehensive training in Playback Theatre since 1993.


August 3-6, 2017
(Thurs – Sun; 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM)


New Paltz, NY, USA


US $625
($$ arrangements available based on need; no one turned away. Financial aid policy.)

Lodging and all meals additional:
$270 (Wed-Sat; double occupancy + 10 meals)
$310 (Wed-Sat; single occupancy + 10 meals)


The workshop is now FULL. We are currently taking a waiting list in case of cancellations. To be put on the Wait List, send us a $100 check to the address below. We will NOT cash it. If a space opens up, we will contact you to see if you are still interested.

Participants already registered may pay for room and board with credit card via paypal:

$270 – 10 meals + lodging (Double occupancy)

$310 – 10 meals + lodging (Single occupancy) 


Or send check or money order to:
Mandala Center for Change
498 35th St.
Port Townsend, WA 98368


* Cancellation Policy:
Before June 1st: Full refund minus $100
June 1 – July 15: Full refund minus $325
No refund after July 15.


For more information contact
(360) 344-3435