2016 Regional Gatherings

Read more about the 2016 PTO Regional Gatherings below, or visit these pages:

Let’s gather together with others in our area to Connect with each other, Create change, and Challenge our communities to grow!

PTO Feature - 2016 Gathering

At the 2015 Conference, many of you expressed a desire for more local gatherings. We are happy to announce that in 2016 we will be hosting several smaller gatherings in multiple locations! It is our hope that this will enable more participation and promote greater accessibility to PTO for our membership and for additional interested activists, artists, community advocates, allies, and educators around the nation and the world. Several regional gatherings are in the planning process in the United States, and will be announced on a rolling basis as soon as more concrete information is available.

Each Regional Gathering will be grounded in pedagogy of the oppressed and/or theatre of the oppressed theory and practice. Gatherings will be locally organized and supported by PTO and if you would like more information about hosting a Gathering, please go to the Regional Gathering Information for Prospective Hosts page (coming soon!). Gatherings will be open to the public and if you are a PTO member, you will receive a Gathering registration discount! You can learn more about interactive techniques developed by Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, and other people working to fight oppression and create justice at ptoweb.org.

2016 PTO Regional Gathering in Chicago!

Forum Theatre: Examining Oppressive Systems, Exploring Concrete Options

REGISTER for the Chicago Regional Gathering HERE.

UPDATE 7/01/16: We have currently filled up registration AND the waiting list. Therefore, no workshop spots are available any longer. Thank you all so much for your interest and support! We will continue to update you as things progress.

UPDATE 5/23/16: We’re delighted by all the interest in this exciting workshop! Currently spots available for online registration have been filled, but we may be able to open additional spots for this workshop in the near future. Please contact Kelly at kellybhowe@gmail.com ASAP if you are interested in being put on a waitlist for those possible additional spots. Wait list spots will be reserved first-come, first-served.

WHERE: Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60601

WHEN: Monday, August 15th – Wednesday, August 17th

  • Monday the 15th: 10am-6pm CT
  • Tuesday the 16th: 10am-6pm CT
  • Wednesday the 17th: 10am-4:30pm CT + 6pm CT Forum Theatre Event

WHO: Julian Boal will be facilitating!
Julian Boal is a founding member of Ambata, GTO-Paris (Theatre of the Oppressed Group–Paris), and Féminisme Enjeux. He has realized workshops and projects in more than 20 countries, and he helped in the realization of TO festivals in India with Jana Sanskriti, in Europe with Pa’tothom, and in South America with CTO-Rio. Julian is the author of Images of a Popular Theatre (Imagens de um Teatro Popular, Hucitec, 2000), co-editor of Theatre of the Oppressed in Actions (Routledge, 2015), and is working for a PhD in Brazil.

HOSTS: Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at Goodman Theatre and Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO)

WHAT: This dynamic, practical theatre workshop welcomes everyone from beginners to longtime activists and facilitators. Participants will gain experience with a variety of Theatre of the Oppressed techniques, and create original Forum Theatre scenes to be shared with a local audience on the evening of August 17, following the final day of the workshop. In Forum Theatre, a group creates a scene or play that investigates a situation of oppression. After watching the play once, spectators are invited to become spect-actors – to step onstage, replace characters, and try out strategies for action.

More specifically, this workshop asks: How do you frame a question in Forum Theatre? Forum Theatre plays are questions addressed to audiences. When we make Forum Theatre and present it to audiences, we don’t have the right to answer those questions, but we have a responsibility to help frame them. Not all questions are equally useful, ethical, or responsible in Forum Theatre. For example, to ask what a specific woman can do at the very moment she is under the threat of being beaten up by her husband reinforces the dangerous idea that she is personally responsible for that violence–or for stopping it herself. For a play to ask that question puts the burden on the individual without examining larger systems, and often without attention to the complexity of a situation: “She should leave her husband.” “She should cool him down.” “She should fight back.” A woman has the right to make any choice to stop the violence, but for a play to stress the possibility of choosing without questioning the concrete options we do (or don’t) have in a situation is to fall under the Nike ideology: “Just do it!” Instead we’ll explore how we can use Forum Theatre to collectively consider concrete options for change.

ADDITIONAL REGISTRATION DETAILS: Please notice that registration requires a credit card for payment. If this creates a barrier for your registration, please contact Kelly Howe at kellybhowe@gmail.com and we will work with you to get registered!.

Registration also requires a physical address and phone number. We request this information only for organizational needs and to follow-up about possible PTO membership. We will not give out any personal information for any reason outside of legal obligation. If entering a physical address or phone number is a barrier for your registration, please contact Kelly Howe at kellybhowe@gmail.com and we will work with you to get registered!

ACCOMMODATION SUPPORT: No one specific room block is reserved. Participants from outside Chicago are invited to secure their own accommodations, and here are some sites you may find helpful.
Hostel Option: Hostelling International Chicago
24 East Congress Parkway
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Phone: +1 (312) 360-0300

Residence Hall Option: University Center
Please contact University Center directly for more information.

For general searches for socially responsible union hotels, you can check out the Fair Hotel website. Some examples of Fair Hotels within a mile from the workshop location include:

REGISTER for the Chicago Regional Gathering HERE.

Additional Gatherings

Please check back frequently to find out about more information about additional upcoming gatherings!

Volunteering for Regional Gatherings

To make these Gatherings a success, we need YOUR HELP! As we update the website and our social media with Gathering locations, please email us at info@ptoweb.org if you are interested in volunteering at your local Gathering.