Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference Coming to IUP

Posted on 5/24/2018 1:11:13 PM

Hundreds of students, teachers, scholars, artists, activists and organizers will be on the IUP campus June 7–10 for the 2018 Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference.

Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Conference posterRachel DeSoto-Jackson, a faculty member in the Department of Theater and Dance, is the 2018 conference chair and has been working with Indiana and Pittsburgh communities to organize this event.

The conference, titled “Disrupting the Politics of Place: Building Inclusive Communities for the Future,” will engage local organizations and the international PTO community in a larger dialogue and action centered on bridging existing divides based on geography, allocation of resources, population identity, ideology, and politics in the western Pennsylvania region—as well as in our global communities.

Public Town Hall

Unique to the conference is a special two-and-a-half-hour town hall session dialogue on race and racism, on June 9 from 10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Waller Hall. This event is free and open to the community.

It will be led by Rebecca Mwase, an artist, creative consultant, producer, and cultural organizer; and S. Leigh Thompson, who has worked the past 20 years with the Theatre of the Oppressed and also served as an organizer, advocate, lobbyist, and campaign strategist for a number of other social justice organizations.

Performances Open to the Public

There will also be performances on June 8 and 9 at 8:00 p.m. in Waller Hall. Falconworks Theater Company, an award-winning, community-based arts organization from the Brooklyn borough of New York City, will perform Curious Fear and Hot and Cold; and 1Hood Media, a theater group from Pittsburgh that works to raise awareness of social justice issues, will perform Word.

These theater presentations are open to the community and are included with the conference registration. Members of the local community and IUP can take advantage of a special local registration rate of $30 for the conference. 


Registrations for the conference are being taken on the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed website.

Featured Speakers

Among the guest speakers are Julian Boal, an international practitioner carrying on his father’s work; Michelle King, an educator in Pittsburgh and learning investigator; anupama jain, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Gender Equity Commission; and Ricardo Vila-Roger, a teaching art and local actor.

The complete schedule can be found at the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed website.

History of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed

The annual conference, which takes place at locations across the nation, began in 1995 and is organized by the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed international organization, whose vision is to “support a world based on radical love and social justice instead of oppression and violence.”

PTO supports those whose work challenges oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice through liberatory theater and popular education.

The PTO’s approaches stem from the theories and practices of Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal to foster collaborative connections to share, develop, promote, and document liberatory theater, popular education, and other revolutionary actions. PTO serves as a resource for oppressed peoples and their allies in diverse communities, contexts, and traditions around the world.

This initiative has received support from IUP’s Department of Theater and Dance, College of Fine Arts, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Division of University Advancement, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Office of Social Equity, Women’s and Gender Studies program, Hispanic Heritage Council, departments of Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and History, and the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement.