Public Workshops

Each year, TONYC typically offers two weekend-long joker training workshops (Level 1 and Level 2) as one other intensive on the internal techniques. This page reflects our 2017 workshop schedule. To receive updates, sign up for our training mailing list at:

If you are interested in bringing our Jokers to facilitate a training at your organization, please fill out the workshop request form on our workshops page.

Level 1 Joker Training for Community Action

Dates: July 7th-9th, 2017 - Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10am-5pm

Location: Long Island City, Queens.

Description: This training is for community organizers, artists, TONYC actors, students and engaged New Yorkers who plan to apply Forum Theatre to their efforts to engage groups in action towards social change.

The three days journey through the process of building and performing a Forum Theatre play from start to finish. This includes playing games from the arsenal of Theatre of the Oppressed; telling and choosing stories of oppression; using Aesthetics of the Oppressed (clean trash sculpture, etc) to explore the story and the issues; and applying rehearsal games. We will examine the theory and politics of the work while staying firmly rooted in practice. Participants have the opportunity to practice jokering a Forum play and teaching back the games to the group, and receive constructive feedback from the group. We will take time to address a variety of questions that arise when working with different communities. At the conclusion of the training, we'll share original Forum plays with friends and colleagues. Participants will receive a packet of notes from the training that includes games, exercises, and an outline for jokering a forum performance.

Application: The first round of applications received by June 5th have been reviewed. Applicants on the waiting list and applications received after June 5th will receive a response as any spots become available from cancellations. Please complete this form to submit an application 

Fees: The training fees contribute to TONYC's costs for organizing this training as well as to our Forum Theatre Troupes. Applicants who are offered a spot will be asked to reserve it by sending a $50.00/person deposit by June 9th. Deposits and training fees paid to TONYC are non-refundable after June 23rd and may not be credited to a future training. Exceptions will only be considered at TONYC's discretion.

  • Standard Rate: $400.00/person
  • Half-price scholarship rate: $200.00/person (FULL)
    • This rate is open to individual applicants, as well as applicants coming from an organization. To apply for this rate, please fill out the scholarship section of the application. Information in this section will be private and shared only with the review team. Note: we have not posted a dollar-based qualification for a scholarship, because we understand that multiple factors may define ability to pay. We are holding about a third of the training spots for applicants at this rate.
    • For individuals, TONYC will evaluate factors that prevent someone from having funds to pay the standard fee, including net monthly income after living expenses, access to resources, and a current situation. It is possible to find online calculators and worksheets by searching "personal monthly budget calculator". (We also recommend the net household income worksheet used by Third Root Community Health Center as a tool to evaluate calculate this - available for download here. We do not request that worksheet on the application.)
    • For organizational applications, TONYC will evaluate organizational or program budget information. If you are an organization planning to apply for more than one person, please email Sophie at to confirm the best process for applying.
  • Full scholarships with a meal/travel stipends are available for five actors currently participating in a TONYC troupe. No deposit is required. TONYC actors should contact their troupe joker for information about applying for a free training spot.


For any questions about this training, please contact Sophie Nimmannit at

Level 2 Joker Training

(last held February 4th-5th, 2017)

Typical Schedule: Saturday & Sunday 10am-6pm

Description: The Advanced Joker Training workshop provides the opportunity to hone and improve your facilitation skills. Participants will lead Forum Theatre games and exercises, and receive feedback from the Theatre of the Oppressed NYC jokers, troupe actors and fellow workshop participants. 

 - Experience the model of a forum theatre process within a community setting, from the experienced jokers of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC.
 - Practice jokering a forum scene, and receive constructive feedback.
 - Practice facilitating games, learn from the practice of your fellow participants and have the opportunity to give and receive constructive feedback.
 - Evaluate your practice based on three essential elements of jokering: accuracy, style and ethics. Discuss the adjustments necessary to meet the needs of different communities.
 - Engage with actors from existing Forum Theatre troupes of homeless and formerly homeless New Yorkers.
 - Review and deepen knowledge of the theory and politics that are the foundation of TO.
 - Plan how you will start your own forum theatre troupe in partnership with your community. Ask questions. Access resources. Build networks.

Design: Risa Takeuchi '16; Design Corps
Pratt Institute,

© 2015 Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
68 Jay St, Suite 220
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(646) 504-4582
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© 2015 Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Design: Risa Takeuchi '16; Pratt Institute,
Created with NationBuilder