PTO Conference in Chicago, 2022: Popular Power/Poder Popular


PTO 2022: Popular Power/Poder Popular – A heartfelt thank you! (español a continuación)
June 5, 2022
It was wonderful to gather with so many of you for PTO 2022, our first full conference since 2019! Thank you so much to every single person who helped make PTO 2022 what it was, online and in person in Chicago.
Thank you from the heart to the following, among so many others!
– Each attendee and each presenter
Julian Boal and the pre-conference workshop participants who opened the conference and whose Forum Theatre session had us thinking together about reproductive justice
– The entire ensemble of Escola de Teatro Popular – ETP for coming from Rio de Janeiro and São Gonçalo to be with us and share their fierce, moving play, their workshop, and the info session on some of the Brazilian social movements that compose their school
– All the representatives from WorkersTEATRO, Latino Union of Chicago, and AFIRE Chicago who together comprised the insightful all-conference session on workers’ struggles and shared information about their compelling, urgent work in other ways across the concurrent conference sessions
– All the speakers on the extraordinary all-conference panel on popular education and organizing (including organizers working inside Chicago Freedom School, Organizing for Dissenters, and University of Chicago, among many others) for helping us understand more collectively how young people are leading so many of the most consequential struggles for justice in Chicago and beyond
– The interpreters and translators who helped us learn from each other in fuller ways
– The PTO 2022 Chicago Local Committee, who worked on the conference for more than 3 years, through so many changes for every member and for the world. (To say that work was complicated is an understatement.)
– All the Loyola University Chicago Department of Fine and Performing Arts staff, students, and faculty who did so many things to make it possible for us to share space in beautiful Mundelein Center–and who worked so hard to help us accomplish so many logistics
The Understudy Coffee and Books for making so many resonant texts available onsite
– The PTO Board, an all-volunteer board, without whom there would quite simply be no conference and no PTO organization at all.
– All the people who organized the first 24 conferences and helped us survive long enough to have a 25th conference in the first place!
– And, of course, Augusto Boal and Paulo Freire, without whose specific contributions to the world it’s likely so many of us would never know each other or be sharing space with each other . . .
As you know from the program and all the people thanked in it, there’s so much more to say, but for now let’s just say this:
We look forward to continued reflection about the conference, more chances to learn together, and ongoing concrete action. May the PTO conference be/become a space to keep building solidarity. There is so much to be done in this world we all share.
Thank you.
In solidarity,
The PTO 2022 team
PTO 2022: Popular Power/Poder Popular – ¡Muchas gracias, de corazón!
el 5 de junio de 2022
¡Fue maravilloso reunirnos con tantxs de ustedes para PTO 2022, nuestra primera conferencia completa desde 2019! Muchas gracias a cada una de las personas que ayudaron a hacer de PTO 2022 lo que fue, en línea y presencialmente en Chicago.
¡Gracias de corazón a lxs siguientes, entre tantxs otrxs!
– Cada asistente y cada presentador/x/a
-Julian Boal y lxs participantes del taller previo a la conferencia que abrieron la conferencia y cuya sesión de Teatro Foro nos hizo pensar juntxs sobre la justicia reproductiva
– A todxs en la colectiva de la Escola de Teatro Popular por venir de Río de Janeiro y São Gonçalo para estar con nosotrxs y compartir su obra feroz y conmovedora, su taller y la sesión de información sobre algunos de los movimientos sociales brasileños que componen su escuela
– Todxs lxs representantes de WorkersTEATRO, Latino Union, y AFIRE que juntxs formaron la sesión plenaria perspicaz sobre trabajadorxs y compartieron información sobre su trabajo convincente y urgente de otras maneras a través de las sesiones simultáneas de la conferencia
– Toda la gente en el panel extraordinario durante la sesión plenaria sobre educación popular y organización (incluso organizadorxs trabajando dentro de Chicago Freedom School, Organizing for Dissenters, y University of Chicago, entre muchos otros) por ayudarnos a comprender más colectivamente cómo lxs jóvenes están liderando muchas de las luchas más importantes por la justicia en Chicago y más allá
– Lxs intérpretes y traductorxs que nos ayudaron aprender unxs a otrxs de manera más completa
– El Comité Local de Chicago de la PTO 2022, que trabajó en la conferencia durante más de 3 años, a través de tantos cambios para cada miembro y para el mundo. Decir que el trabajo fue complicado es quedarse corto.
– Todo el personal, lxs estudiantes y lxs miembros de la facultad de Loyola que hicieron tantas cosas para que pudiéramos compartir espacio en el hermoso Mundelein Center, y que trabajaron tan duro para ayudarnos a lograr tanta logística
– The Understudy Coffee and Books por hacer disponibles en la conferencia tantos textos resonantes
– La Junta de PTO, una junta de voluntarixs, sin la cual simplemente no habría conferencia ni organización de PTO.
– ¡Todas lxs personas que organizaron las primeras 24 conferencias y nos ayudaron a sobrevivir el tiempo suficiente para tener una conferencia número 25 en primer lugar!
– Y, por supuesto, Augusto Boal y Paulo Freire, sin cuyas contribuciones específicas al mundo probablemente muchxs de nosotrxs nunca nos conoceríamos ni compartiríamos espacio entre nosotrxs. . .
Como saben por el programa y por todas las personas a las que se agradeció en él, hay mucho más que decir, pero por ahora digamos esto:
Esperamos seguir reflexionando sobre la conferencia, más oportunidades de aprender juntxs y acciones concretas en curso. Que la conferencia de la PTO sea/se convierta en un espacio para seguir construyendo solidaridad. Hay tanto para hacer en este mundo que todxs compartimos.
En solidaridad,
el equipo PTO 2022

Popular Power/Poder Popular

Pre-conference workshop (in-person in Chicago) with Julian Boal: May 24-26, 2022 (all spaces are filled)

Online Conference (1 day; limited submission availability):May 25, 2022

In-Person Conference: May 26-29, 2022

Loyola University Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, 60660, USA

Looking for something specific? ¿Estás buscando algo específico? Você está procurando algo específico?

  • Register for the Online Conference Day!
  • Register for the 25th Annual PTO Conference!
  • The full conference schedule (including Zoom links for each online session) can be found on SCHED here. Please note that the Sched app does not have capacity to host all information in all three languages of the conference (English, Spanish, Portuguese); rather, on Sched itself, the titles and session descriptions are provided in the languages in which the session is being conducted. If a session is bilingual, the second description is still to be added to Sched in some cases–and will be added soon.
  • We will have full PDFs of the Conference Guide and Schedule in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, respectively, available as links on Sched prior to the conference. We will also provide printed access copies of the PDF of the Conference Guide and Schedule in those three languages at the registration desk onsite in Chicago for anyone who needs one.
  • Download the Call for Proposals in English or read it here.
  • Descargue la convocatoria de propuestas en español o léala aquí.
  • Faça o download da chamada de propostas em português ou leia aqui.

Proposals are no longer being accepted for the 2022 conference. 

About PTO:
Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) is an international organization that supports people whose work challenges oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice through liberatory theatre and popular education. Our approaches stem from the theories and practices of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal. We foster collaborative connections to share, develop, promote, and document liberatory theatre, popular education, and other revolutionary actions. Our annual conference seeks to provide an accessible, inclusive, and educational space. We actively seek both introductory sessions for those new to Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed practices, as well as advanced sessions for long-time practitioners.

Honoring the theme of the PTO Chicago 2020 conference that has been postponed for 2 years due to COVID-19, PTO Chicago 2022 will emphasize popular struggle and popular power, which are themes as relevant as ever now.

By popular power, we mean actions that are:

  • Powered by people who are often excluded from conferences like this one.
  • Focused on genuine equality and justice.
  • Organized to dismantle systems that benefit some people at the expense of others.
  • Waged against elitism, condescension, class division, capitalism, racism, White supremacy,  coloniality and settler occupation, imperialism, nationalism and borders, fascism, austerity, privatization, patriarchy, heterosexism, gender norms, ageism, ableism, educational inequality, slavery, imprisonment, environmental destruction, and other forms of violence.
  • Taken collectively, built through movements or alliances (often hard, complicated, partial alliances) across barriers that have been built to keep people from fighting together.
  • Performed by, as Paulo Freire described, “people engaged in the fight for their own liberation.”
  • Reflective of Augusto Boal’s notion that, “[t]o be popular” is to “always tackle issues from the people’s perspective, that is, the perspective of permanent transformation, of anti-alienation, of struggle against exploitation.”

Register for the 2022 Conference

Register for the Online Conference Day

Additional Important Information:


It is PTO’s expectation that conference participants will be masked indoors, except in dorm spaces, dining halls, or in situations where they are performing or presenting onstage in the Newhart Theatre (in which case masks are optional). 

Vaccination and Testing Requirements for Entering the U.S.

If you are coming to the in-person conference from outside the U.S. this is a reminder that the current U.S. requirement is that travelers show proof of being fully vaccinated (meaning completion of a full initial series) approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) AND proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one calendar day of flight departure. For more information about the specific kinds of tests that are accepted for travel into the U.S., scroll down to “Test and Documentation Requirements” here on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Vaccination and Testing for Coming to the Conference

Per Loyola University Chicago requirements, campus visitors ages five and older must provide proof that they are up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses when eligible. Campus visitors who are not up to date on vaccinations must display proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within no more than 48 hours of an event to enter. At this time, PCR and rapid antigen tests will be accepted. Visitors/guests should display their vaccination status via the CLEAR Health Pass application upon arrival to an event. (If you are not able to access that application on your phone or prefer not to use an electronic application for details, you must show your vaccination proof or negative test proof at the PTO Conference registration desk.)

About Loyola’s partnership with Clear Health Pass Application

“Loyola University Chicago has partnered with CLEAR Health Pass, to provide easy proof of your vaccination status for faster entry. To get started, download the CLEAR app and enroll for free here.

  • For the most efficient entry possible, vaccinated attendees should create a free CLEAR account to provide proof of vaccination in order to enter.
  • Trust and transparency are CLEAR’s top priority, and with Health Pass, users are always in control of their health information. Personal information is only used to deliver a frictionless and secure experience with CLEAR and Loyola University Chicago. You can read more details about this in CLEAR’s Privacy Policy here.
  • If you have any questions about enrolling in CLEAR, please reach out to or tap “Get In Touch” in the app for assistance
  • Full instructions on how to complete your Health Pass see below:
    • Download the CLEAR app and tap the white Health Pass tile 
    • Tap ‘Events’ and the Loyola University Chicago tile
    • Easily enroll or verify your identity with a quick selfie
    • Follow the prompts to verify your proof of vaccination
    • Before you arrive, reopen the Health Pass tile and produce your pass. Green is good to go! Be ready to show security for faster entry.”

Current Travel and Lodging Information

Travel and lodging information can be found here.