Theatre of the Oppressed Facilitator Training 2017

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Theatre of the Oppressed Facilitator Training 2017

Our 22nd annual week-long training oriented to beginners as well as more experienced practitioners seeking to deepen their practice.

Facilitated by Marc Weinblatt

T.O. Facilitator’s Training

Our 22nd annual intensive 6-day workshop is designed to train participants to use Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) with both adults and youth. Focus includes community building games, Image Theatre, Forum Theatre, some Rainbow of Desire techniques and culminates in an interactive public Forum Theatre performance / community dialogue on Friday night. Participants must commit to the full 6 days in their entirety.

I did not expect that I would grow so much as a person during the training. I thought that I would come to the training to learn theories and techniques but I am also walking away with a renewed sense of myself, my passion for this work and a group of friends  I will have for a long time to come.
– Jennifer Chain

In order to best understand the real life power of the work, subject matter will come directly from participants’ personal and collective life experiences. Each day will include time to discuss the previous day’s work and the art of facilitation, as well as applications in the field. The week also includes training in basic “Systematic Oppression” theory (power-based analysis of the “isms”) to help illuminate an important layer of group dynamics. A simple manual is provided.

2016 TO Training

2016 TO Training. Participants from Haiti, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, India, Mexico, and across the United States.

These highly adaptable techniques can be immediately applied by teachers, social workers, psychotherapists, activists, community organizers, and theatre artists, among others. Also for anyone interested in exploring themselves and the society in which we live. Absolutely no theatre background necessary.

This was one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended in my thirty years as an educator. It was challenging, hard work–but it was also fun, varied, well paced, and constantly attuned to the growing edges of the participants.
– James Henderson

About Theatre of the Oppressed

Boal #2As created by Brazilian visionary, Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) is a form of popular community based education which uses theater as a tool for social change. It’s basic aim is to re-humanize humanity. Originally developed out of Boal’s work with peasant and worker populations, 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. Not a soapbox, T.O. invites critical thinking and dialogue. It is about analyzing rather than giving answers. It is also about “acting” (taking action) rather than just talking. With T.O., people can and often do discover empowering solutions to their own struggles. And they have a good time doing it!


The entire training will take place at the Masonic Hall in Port Townsend, WA. PT is a small yet remarkably vibrant seaport on the Olympic Peninsula about 2 hours from Seattle. (Go to for lots of info.) During the summer, it is a major tourist destination hosting internationally renowned jazz and blues festivals among other events. It is also at the doorstep to the Olympic National Park and rainforest.


People flying in from out of state or abroad should fly into Sea-Tac airport by Sunday, July 2nd. Car rentals, buses, or puddle jumper flights to PT int’l airport are available directly from Sea-Tac. Travel from Seattle and other locations are possible as well. Directions provided upon registration.

** We will also do one FREE door to door van pool from the Bainbridge Island side of the Seattle ferry at 5:15 PM on July 2nd. You will need to make the 4:40 PM ferry from the downtown Seattle ferry terminal. We offer this as a courtesy to participants so please contact us no later June 15th if you want this free service.

If you plan to use our vanpool, you should plan your flight to arrive at Sea-Tac no later than 1:00 PM on July 2nd so you have plenty of time to get from the airport to the ferry.


A variety of housing options are available including, hotels, Victorian bed & breakfasts, motels, etc. Check for many options. You will need to reserve early as this is high tourist season.  We also recommend (network of low-cost vacation rentals) and (free lodging network).  If you need, please contact us for a list of housing options.

** As we are committed to making this training accessible and affordable for all people, we will also provide FREE billeting (homestays) for those who are in genuine need of this. If other options are not possible and your participation would not be possible otherwise, please let us know and we will work to find you a reasonable homestay.

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 (15-75 years old) troupe of actor / activists using T.O. and Playback Theatre based interactive performances to generate dialogue around burning local issues.


Marc was masterful as a facilitator. He let us learn from each other inviting us to step forward and step back, he created  spaciousness and reflection when that was clearly needed, and provided challenge at other times. I appreciated his open self-reflection as a white American male doing this work, and greatly appreciate the anti-oppression lens. His sensitivity, sense of humor, compassion, and transparency about his own process was an inspiration.
– Training Participant

Mandala Center founder and director, Marc Weinblatt, has been a professional educator, activist, artist, and workshop facilitator since 1980. An internationally recognized leader in the use of T.O., he has worked extensively with both adults and youth and with diverse communities ranging from police to homeless youth, grassroots organizers and laborers to University deans.

Internationally, Marc has worked with theatre activists in Europe and Canada, refugees in Azerbaijan, slum families in India, construction workers in South Africa, community workers in the Republic of Congo, ex-combatants in Northern Ireland, and victims of war, among others, in Afghanistan. Marc was chosen as a “Cultural Envoy” by the U.S. State Department for his work in Congo in 2010. 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.


July 3-8, 2017
(M-Th 9:30 AM – 6 PM; Fri 12-10 PM;
Sat 9:30 AM – 4 PM)


Port Townsend, WA, USA


US $550 / $495 if paid by April 1, 2017
($$ arrangements available based on need; no one turned away. Financial aid policy.)


The training 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.

Also consider joining us for other great workshops this summer:
• “Intro to Playback Theatre”
• “People of Color Caucus: Internalized Racism”
• “Combining Playback Theatre & Theatre of the Oppressed” (in New Paltz, NY)


To join the Wait List, send $100 check to:
Mandala Center for Change
498 35th St.
Port Townsend, WA 98368


* Cancellation Policy:
Before May 1st: Full refund minus $100
May 1 – July 2: Full refund minus $250
No refund after July 2.


For more information contact
(360) 344-3435