Forum Theatre

2015 Summer Intensive


July 21 - 26, 2015

Six day facilitators’ training:

  1. Tuesday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm 

  2. Saturday, July 25, 10:3-am-5:30pm

  3. Sunday, July 26, 10am-3pm

  4.   (Public Forum Theater Performance, 2pm)

Summit Presbyterian Church

6757 Greene Street

Philadelphia, PA 19119

See below for registration/fee info.

Our 10th annual Forum Theatre Summer Intensive is geared towards individuals seeking facilitation skills and training in Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to improve their ability to effectively engage diversity issues. Forum Theatre is a participatory theatre technique that can be applied to all kinds of work committed to social action and transformation—educational, political, creative, cultural and beyond.

This training will bring out your ability to overcome societal and self-imposed limits

in order to better include and interact with others.

About the Training

Forum Theatre is a core technique of Theatre of the Oppressed, a revolutionary form of participatory theatre designed primarily for non-actors by Brazilian theatre visionary and Nobel Peace Prize finalist Augusto Boal. Through lively, fun and revelatory activities and improvisations, Forum Theatre transforms real-life struggles into interactive theatrical dialogue. Audience members are given the freedom to "stop" a scene, jump into it, and theatrically investigate ways of changing automatic behavioral patterns that keep us stuck in situations of monologue and not dialogue.

Our 6 day Facilitators’ training will guide participants through the process of devising and then performing Forum theatre pieces about issues of concern to them—from initial building of group solidarity, finding consensus around themes and social conflicts, animating improvisations for devising Forum pieces, and finally to performing and facilitating with spect-actor interventions to best extrapolate real life application. On the final day, we will welcome the public to join us for performances of several Forum Theatre pieces that participants have created over the course of the training.

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Practice and apply Theatre of the Oppressed techniques in their respective communities.

  2. Facilitate a group to construct, rehearse, refine and perform Forum Theatre to animate community dialogue.

  3. Practice hands-on storytelling, image-making and improvisation activities for strengthening communication, listening skills and fostering consensus.

  4. Utilize greater awareness of themselves, the roles they play in the world, and the impact of choices made when in conflicts

  5. Reflect on the theory and practice of Theatre of the Oppressed from a seasoned facilitator.

  6. Network with others who have similar interests

These skills are relevant in teaching, leading and managing diverse groups; dealing with community conflicts around issues such as race or sexual orientation; developing constructive conflict skills; analyzing problems of oppression and power; engaging youth and participants across generations.

Who is this for:

Facilitators/trainers of all kinds, educators, social workers, activists, artists, community organizers, therapists, anyone interested in civic and personal transformation, and working towards justice in their communities.

This workshop welcomes those new to, or with experience in, Theatre of the Oppressed. No theatre experience necessary!

Facilitated by Lisa Jo Epstein. Ph.D.

“Lisa Jo is a masterful maestra with an uncanny gift for tapping into our heart's inner hunger to educe something luminous, vast, and Divine! She can transform any place into a safe space for diverse groups of individuals to cast aside our inhibitions and trust her process. Lisa Jo’s passion is infectious and her keen ability to empathize with a broad spectrum of humanity allows her to effectively gauge the general emotional state of her players and improvise during any situation at any given moment to fulfill the needs of the group she’s working with. When you couple Lisa Jo's unique intuitive sense with her high-level expertise then you get a facilitator who is brilliant, piercing, and dynamic!” --Dr. Kimberly Chestnut, Director of Temple University’s Wellness Resource Center

Lisa Jo Epstein is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Gas & Electric Arts in Philadelphia. She is a theatre director, educator, teaching artist and citizen planner whose socially-engaged, theatrical vision for community engagement was influenced by her three-year long training with Augusto Boal, creator of the Theatre of the Oppressed, and also at the world-renowned Théâtre du Soleil (Paris, France). For more than two decades, Lisa Jo has been a ‘multiplier’ and adapter of Theatre of the Oppressed, using participatory theatre as a vehicle for engaging communities in transformation.

She has facilitated experiential theatre workshops with different populations in many locations addressing diversity, gender, racism, homophobia, bullying, and more. For Gas & Electric Arts, she created Power gRRRls, a unique leadership & social change program for teen girls. As a result of her accumulated community-engaged theatre work in Philadelphia, Lisa Jo was recognized as a Northwest Fund Neighborhood Change Agent, was awarded a Leeway Art & Change grant, and three-times, she has been a Leeway Transformation Award finalist. Lisa Jo works frequently with urban teens, and intergenerational groups. Thanks to the Pew Foundation, for the past year, she has been a key planning and implementation partner with the PA Humanities Council, in ChesterMade, an innovative arts-based city planning project in Chester, PA.  

Workshop Fee:
$450 - Register before May 21, 2015
$500 - Register after May 21, 2015

Space is limited. Payment plans are available for those who express a need, please contact

To register, make a $100 deposit or full payment.

Balance will be due by June 21, 2015

INFO CALL: 215.290.9704


Cancellation Policy: Non-refundable deposits will be retained upon cancellation after the May 15 deadline. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of Gas & Electric Arts less a $12 cancelation fee.



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