On September 1, 2019, Assistant Professor Rachel
DeSoto-Jackson of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance, was elected
co-president of the Pedagogy
and Theatre of the Oppressed international arts organization.
DeSoto-Jackson will serve a two-year term as co-president alongside Executive
Director Reg Flowers of Falconworks Theater Company, based in New York.
Founded in 1995, the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed
organization will celebrate its 25th year with its annual conference
in Chicago, Illinois, in May 2020. This follows the 2019 conference held in Pueblo, Colorado,
and the 2018 conference hosted by IUP.
The PTO organization is founded on the
principles and methodologies of Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) and
August Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed) whose work collectively explores
systemic power and innovative methods for examining, challenging, and
dismantling oppression which remains vitally relevant in our world today.
For 25 years, the PTO organization has brought together
educators, organizers, artists, and activists from around the world to share,
learn, and be in dialogue with each other about critical issues. The organization
works to “foster collaborative connections to share, develop, promote, and
document actions for social change through theatrical practice. PTO serves as a
resource for oppressed peoples and their allies in diverse communities,
contexts, and traditions around the world.”
Their vision is to “create global
access to popular education pedagogy and liberatory theatre of the oppressed
methods to support a world based on radical love and social justice instead of
oppression and violence.”
Thousands of individuals have convened at PTO
conferences over 25 years to develop practices together which have impacted
local and global communities, particularly communities of color and
Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance