Each year, TONYC typically offers weekend-long joker training workshops (Level 1 and/or Level 2) as one other intensive on the internal techniques.  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.


July 19-21, 2019 - Intro to Facilitating Forum Theatre (Level 1 Joker Training)

Dates: Friday, Saturday, Sunday July 19th-21st, 10am-5pm each day. 

Location: Long Island City, Queens 

Facilitators: Sulu LeoNimm, Liz Morgan

Description: This training is for community organizers, artists and engaged community members who plan to apply Forum Theatre to engage groups in action towards social change. Participants will experience TONYC's process of creating forum troupes in partnership with local groups, and of engaging spect-actors in Forum and Legislative Theatre.

The three day workshop journeys 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. We will take time to address a variety of questions that arise when facilitating this work. 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.

Please note - because this training is a collaborative process with other members of the workshop, we request that participants attend for the full training time.

Note for TONYC troupe actors: TONYC will be providing intensive training for actors who have participated in a Forum Theatre troupes in the summer. Please contact Liz Morgan for training opportunities.

For any questions about this training, please contact Sulu LeoNimm at To receive updates about future trainings, sign up for our mailing list at:


  • Standard Rate: $400.00 (There is currently a waiting list.)
  • Half-Price Scholarship rate: $200.00, by application. (There is currently a waiting list for this rate. TONYC will release spots to applicants if there are cancellations.)
    • This rate is available to individuals and organizations. 
  • A $50 deposit is required to reserve your spot. The balance of your workshop fee is due by July 1st. Training fees paid to TONYC are non-refundable after July 10th and may not be credited to a future training. Exceptions will only be considered at TONYC's discretion.


Application Link: (Note: this training is currently full. If you would like to add your application to the waiting list, please click here . )

  • Applications received by May 24th will receive a response by May 30th. We will ask participants to confirm by June 4th with a non-refundable $50 deposit.
  • If there are spaces available after June 4th, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants will receive a response within 3 business days. 

Unpacking Patriarchy

Unpacking Patriarchy via Theatre of the Oppressed Techniques

This workshop is intended for men and masculine-identified members of the community, including trans, genderqueer, and non-binary people who want to disrupt their lived experience of patriarchy connected to a masculine identity.

In this series, participants will explore their own internalized patriarchy using a Theatre of the Oppressed exercise called “Cops in the Head.” This exercise uses improvisation to identify and examine internalized oppressive power structures (labeled as “the cops in your head”), and externalizes them, in order to:

• Analyze their sources: where do they come from, who put them in our heads?
• Understand their impact: how does their presence limit us? How do they shape our relationships and perspectives
• Dialogue with the sources: how do we engage the continued presence or influence of oppressive structures in our lives
• And imagine a way forward, with tactics to liberate ourselves from their influence.

This workshop series is limited to 12 participants, and is intended for men and masculine-identified members of the community, including trans, genderqueer, and non-binary people who want to disrupt their lived experience of patriarchy connected to a masculine identity.

This series will meet four (4) times, on April 29, May 6, May 13, and May 20 from 6pm-9pm. Due to the nature of the workshops and their scaffolded structure, participation in all four dates is preferred.


Standard Rate: $325.00 $350.00
Reduced rate: $150.00 $180.00 
TONYC Community-Member scholarship: Free 

About the facilitators:

John LeoNimm (aka Spark, he/they) is a white queer adoptee, and adoptive parent. They make boundary-pushing, award-winning clown, drag, and burlesque, such as Peg-ass-us, a romantic sex-ed burlesque (Best Comedy of the SF Fringe 2008, Boulder Fringe Encore Award 2012), and Handshake Uppercut, a Beckettian clown brawl about power and masculinity (Chicago Fringe Fest *Must See.*" - Katy Walsh, ChicagoNow). John often seeks to use Theatre of the Oppressed as a tool of liberation — to free the oppressed and the oppressors from unjust systems and thought patterns. He’s currently part of an ongoing Undoing Patriarchy and Unveiling the Sacred Masculine gathering at the Brooklyn Zen Center.

Mike Gonzalez (he/him) has been a Joker with TONYC since 2014. He has facilitated for troupes at the Ali Forney Center, the Red Hook Community Justice Center, The Fortune Society, and LaGuardia Community College, building plays about policing, LGBTQ youth homelessness, racism in the school system and more. Beginning in 2010, Mike was an original member of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC's first troupe, Concrete Justice, and performed in Hellter Shelter, It Could Happen to You, The Park Bench Prophet: Beggar with a Cause, and The Housing Circus. From 2013-2015, Mike was on the Board of Directors for TONYC. In 2018, Mike attended the Muktadara Festival, a bi-annual gathering of Theatre of the Oppressed facilitators in India.

Payment/Deposit/Refund Policy:

A non-refundable deposit of $50 at signup for standard-rate sign-ups, and at notification of receiving a reduced-rate spot. If not received within 3 business days,  the spot may go to a later applicant. Emergency exceptions will be considered at TONYC's discretion.

Refund after start: Participants are expected to attend all sessions. If a participant chooses to cancel after the workshops begin, or cannot attend a session, they can request a $40 refund per session, ($20 for reduced-rate).

Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
758 8th Ave, Suite 300
New York, NY 10036
(646) 504-4582

© 2019 Theatre of the Oppressed NYC