Theatre of the Oppressed

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Who could benefit from this course?

The Introduction to the Theatre of the Oppressed workshop is designed for artists and creatives from all sectors, for anyone who could benefit from a deep insight into applied drama techniques.
Participants will be equipped with knowledge of the Theatre of the Oppressed technique and participatory theatre practices. In addition, they will have the chance to explore means of devising dramatic content and narratives and tips in facilitating creative programs for education purposes.

This experience is for actors and non-actors that are interested in using theatre as a tool for communication, debate and social change within their communities, and a MUST for theatre practitioners, social activists, teachers, community workers, charity representatives and youth workers.

How does it work?

The Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) methodology was created by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal. It is an applied drama technique and participatory theatre practice which empowers audiences and individuals for social change. In an oppressive political and social landscape, Boal’s efforts consisted in establishing a dialog between audience and stage with the aim of exploring the real needs and issues of his community. The theatrical act by itself is a conscious intervention, a rehearsal for social action based on a collective analysis of shared problems of oppression.

This introductory workshop is designed to strengthen community activation and trust-building through interactive exercises developed from the fundamentals of The Theatre of the Oppressed.
Over 4 hours, we will explore together these following parts:

1.Trust-building games. Games are the foundation of Theatre of the Oppressed. They are a way to create relationships between actors and "spect-actors" (traditionally known as the audience), or between members of a community. Games are used to identify the images, sounds, and words that surround us, and to begin to examine and understand them. These games also develop collective awareness, sensory and spatial awareness, and improvisational skills.

2.Image Theatre. This technique uses the human body as a tool of representing feelings, ideas, and relationships. Through sculpting others, or using our own body to demonstrate a position, participants create solo and ensemble image sculptures that reflect an impression of a situation, story, or relationship.

What do you gain?

Acquire practical skills by experimenting with different TO techniques, such as trust-building games and image theatre
Learn about the theory and the background of TO and its various techniques
Explore how the methodology of Theatre of the Oppressed can be used as a form of participatory communication for social change
Discuss and explore how workshops of TO could be implemented in everyday work with vulnerable collectives

Date & Times

Saturday, 28 May
1:30 - 5:30pm




Check out the other workshops in our Theatre Maker programme, and save 10% when you book 2 or more.

Maria has a degree in Physical Theatre and Social Education from the University of Barcelona and a master’s degree in Dramatherapy from Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, United Kingdom).

Since 2004, she has been using theatre as a tool for social transformation. She has developed theatre-related projects to give a voice to those most in need around the world, in countries such as Spain, Turkey, Palestine, Mexico, England, Italy, France and Germany and online basis with collaborators in India, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina.

Maria works with communities, like gypsies, migrants, those with learning disabilities, those suffering from mental health issues, women, the D/deaf community, the indigenous community, the LGBTQ+ community, young people and the elderly.

In 2014, she founded and is currently directing the theatre company, Acting Now, based in Cambridge, where she has created more than 30 theatre productions, using her methodology: The Theatre of Yes.

Due to the internalization of the methodology, she won international funding from Iberescena (Mexico City, 2018) The Arts Council England (indegenous women, the D/deaf community, 2018) , Big Lottery and Santander Bank (mental health and learning disabilities, 2015-2021) and the Microsoft Foundation (women, 2021). She also led an equity gender project for the BBC and Greenpeace.

She carries out training sessions using the Theatre of the Oppressed and the Theatre of Yes in different universities in England, such as the University of Cambridge, the University of Bradford and Anglia Ruskin University. In France, Marina runs similar programmes in the University of Lile and in Spain, la Casa Encendida.

Marina presented the Theatre of Yes in international conferences like PPGL (New York 2021), the European Theatre Network (Ljubljana, 2020), Cambridge University Diversity Day (Cambridge, 2020), the National Conference of Mexican Theatre (La Paz, 2019),  the Ministry of Culture Spain 2018) and the Cambridge Art Network (Cambridge, 2018).


“This workshop gave me tools that I can really apply, in the workplace, amongst colleagues, trying to resolve conflict situations." - Babette

"After my workshop with Marina, I am starting to understand how powerful theatre is as a tool of social liberation." - Romaric