Forum Theatre Summer Intensive


June 19 - 22, 2014

Thursday June 19, 9am -5pm

Friday June 20, 9am-5pm

Saturday, June 21, 9am-5pm

Sunday, June 22, 9am-5pm

Location: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Registration is closed - New workshops to be announced soon.

Our 9th annual Forum Theatre Summer Intensive is geared towards individuals seeking skills and 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 4 day training will guide participants through the process of building and 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 and creating Forums, and finally to performing and facilitating with spect-actor interventions to best extrapolate real life application.

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

  7. 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 Epstein is the Producing Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Gas & Electric Arts in Philadelphia. She is a theatre director, educator and teaching artist whose socially-engaged, theatrical vision has been influenced by her training with Augusto Boal at the Center for the Theatre of the Oppressed (Paris, France) and at the world-renowned Théâtre du Soleil (Paris, France). For two decades, Lisa Jo has been a ‘multiplier’ of Theatre of the Oppressed, working to build bridges of civic and social understanding. 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-based theatre work in Philadelphia, Lisa Jo was recognized as a Northwest Fund Neighborhood Change Agent, was awarded a Leeway Art & Change grant, and has twice been a Leeway Transformation Award finalist. Over the years, Lisa Jo has worked primarily with urban teens. Most recently, she began working with an intergenerational group of residents in Chester PA around issues of violence and family in the community. In the coming year, she will continue this work as the Artistic Director of an arts-based civic engagement project revolving around city revitalization.  Lisa Jo is passionate about teaching Theatre of the Oppressed, training students, educators, social workers, community activists, and artists across the country. She also directs the plays for Gas & Electric Arts, and has taught theatre and directed at several area universities and colleges.

Workshop Fee: $350

Payment plans are available for those who express a need, please contact

CALL: 215.407.0556 (M-S, 9am - 7pm)


Registration is closed - New workshops to be announced soon.

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.