Public Workshops


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.

Unpacking Patriarchy

Unpacking Patriarchy via Theatre of the Oppressed Techniques

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.

Sign up here!


Standard Rate: $350.00
Reduced rate: $180.00 (3 spots available via application by April 1)
TONYC Community-Member scholarship: Free (2 spots available via application by April 1)

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).

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

© 2015 Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
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© 2015 Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Design: Risa Takeuchi '16; Pratt Institute,
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