Apply to be a Joker with TONYC!

Feb. 08, 2022

Photo: TONYC Jokers Elizabeth Morgan (l) and Letitia Bouie (r) set up for a workshop. Photo by Kwame King.

We are looking for experienced facilitators who have used Theatre of the Oppressed.

Job Title: Joker, Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Deadline to apply: April 18, 2022. 
Schedule: We plan to have interviews with candidates in May and early June, to invite people to join the staff by late June for summer training. New jokers will begin rehearsals on projects in Fall 2022. 

What We Do: Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC) partners with communities facing discrimination to inspire transformative action through theatre. Through partnerships with social service organizations, advocacy groups and city agencies, TONYC forms theatre troupes with community members who face pressing social, economic, and human rights issues. The troupes create and perform plays based on real-life struggles, engaging audiences in theatrical brainstorming - or Forum and Legislative Theatre - to creatively challenge systems of oppression.

Work With Us: Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC) is opening an application for experienced facilitators to join our Joker team. Jokers facilitate rehearsals & performances with Forum Theatre Troupes around NYC, and workshops for various groups and organizations around the US. We believe in developing a community of Jokers and Actors who learn and engage in social change efforts together, so we prioritize training, networking and community-building. 

TONYC Jokers are typically scheduled to work with 1-2 projects (Forum Theatre Troupe or Theatre of the Oppressed Residency) each season, with each project meeting weekly for 10-12 weeks, in collaboration with a co-joker. Jokers are expected to plan with their co-joker, attend monthly company facilitation practice sessions (aka “Joker Workouts), and participate in occasional program meetings and public events.

We are looking for experienced facilitators who have used Theatre of the Oppressed. Ideal experience and skills include:

• A facilitation practice
• Engagement with undoing systems of oppression in one's profession and/or community
• Familiarity with event/performance production 
• Openness to dialogue & feedback about their own practice
• Public speaking
• Collaboration in an artistic practice or in facilitation

Responsibilities of TONYC Jokers

Plan with co-joker to:
• Facilitate rehearsals, performances, and a celebration for the program
• Support actors’ participation by sharing TO facilitation techniques, communicating schedule, planning transportation & food
• Maintain reports & evaluations as requested by the administrative staff
• Plan basic costumes, props & sound cues
• Provide play & troupe information in a timely manner for marketing purposes
• Communicate promptly with the TONYC office any personal, partner, or actor updates that will impact rehearsals or performances

Engage in TONYC’s ongoing planning & learning, by attending at least 2 staff meetings or internal trainings per month.

Compensation: Jokers are employees of TONYC and paid an hourly rate for facilitation of rehearsals, shows, workshops, and attendance at public organizing events that involve their troupe. For a typical weekly rehearsal, a joker receives $160.00-$216.00, depending on level of facilitation expertise, and paid administrative time. Additionally, hourly staff are paid $27/hour for production administration, training time, travel out of NYC, or attendance at social justice-related public events when requested by TONYC. Hourly employees accrue paid sick time and paid vacation time, have access to pre-tax Commuter benefits and free access to TONYC's space in midtown.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate: Due to the Key to NYC mandates, workers in New York City who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Workers will then have 45 days to show proof of their second dose (for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines). Businesses may not allow any unvaccinated workers to come to their workplace unless a reasonable accommodation on the following limited bases is granted. TONYC will consider accommodation requests from individuals who are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination due to either an underlying medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs on a case-by-case basis in accordance with TONYC's policies as well as federal, state, and local laws. Supporting documentation may be requested. 

To Apply, please complete this formWe will contact people who we wish to interview, and at that time, we may request a resume, work sample, and information about references.

Any questions about this application can be emailed to Sulu LeoNimm at [email protected]. If you apply, you will automatically receive a copy of your form to confirm that is completed. We request that applicants do not send additional information or materials via email, or contact TONYC to follow up about their application.


Theatre of the Oppressed NYC is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages all interested and qualified applicants to apply. TONYC does not discriminate based on age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, housing status, disability, or previous incarceration.