Open Digital Library of the “It’s up to US – multiplying Theatre of the Oppressed method working for social change” Erasmus plus project


30 participants from 5 countries have gained new skills and knowledge in the area of the Theatre of the Oppressed thanks to their participation in 3 transnational Learning Mobilities in Poland and Portugal, practised the Forum Theatre in their local communities and gained experiences of the Joker in a frame of “It’s up to US – multiplying Theatre of the Oppressed method working for social change” Erasmus plus project

They have implemented several Forum Theatre Plays and workshops related to the topics of diversity in society, war in Ukraine, equality, mental issues, refugees crisis, self care during pandemic and much more specific individual topics.

Digital Learning Space was created among the participants and representatives of partner organisations within the aim is to sustain the learning experience and the contact during all the process. Its result is a Digital Library dedicated to gather resources in the field of Theatre of the Oppressed.

There are several outcomes and results under the links provided by partners.

After the evaluation and closure seminar in Faro, some trainers and participants work on the booklet and future project within the concept of Forum Theatre still.

This space is a written output of the consultation, discussions, sharing resources for self-development and following the progress in local work of persons involved in “It’s up to US – multiplying Theatre of the Oppressed method working for social change” Strategy Partnership Erasmus plus project.

It shows some good practices which participants were sharing during the timeline of the project and serves for future Forum Theatre Activities.


Neighbour Theater from Mandacaru in Portugal

Edith Scher – mother of Neighbour Theater :

About the group of Edith:

Theatre of the oppressed from Cardboard Citizens in UK:

Augusto Boal Interview: April 16, 1931-May 2, 2009 PART 1

Forum Theatre Non-Formal Short Activities:

One of the visual outcome of the project is the short video from second learning mobility in Jarosławki, Poland:

Participants shared their results of international and local work which can be inspiration for the future Forum Theatre Activities

This space serves to document the learning process during international meetings in Poland/Portugal and to document and share experiences of new skills.

Outcomes of Transnational Mobilities:

1. Transnational Projects Meetings which were happening online on Zoom platform almost every 2 weeks of the timeline of the project with representatives and coordinators of each partner organization

2. “It’s up to US! – introduction” Training Course in Poland, Mikuszewo 6-14 of September 2021

– getting experience of FT play as actor/actress

– learning different stages of TO method games, image theatre, Forum Theatre

3. Local action – implementing the knowledge and multiplying Forum Theatre

4. Second international mobility “Developing Jokers competences” Course in Poland, Jarosławki 6-13 of March 2022

– learning the competences of the Joker

– presentation to the local community

5. Local action – implementing the knowledge and multiplying Forum Theatre

6. Third international mobility – “It’s up to us! what is next?” Closing seminar Seminar in Portugal, Faro 26th April – 1st May 2022

7. Local action – multiplying effect

We have engaged the trainers experienced in Theatre of the Oppressed in order to equip youth workers, social workers, pedagogues, teachers and trainers with necessary competences for using Forum Theatre in order to make a social change in multiple local communities in Europe.

Report – 1st training

Day 1Getting to know each other Through multiple and diverse games and exercises, the group starts to know each other, interact together, learn names and build confidence. All exercises were chosen for their relation to Theatre of The Oppressed (T.O) or Art in general (Drawing, singing, dancing…) The dynamic and atmosphere of the group is an essential key for working with T.O methodology.   Framework and context: Presentation objectives of whole project / programme of 1st mobility / methodology /Team / expectations of participants / Group contract / Presentation of volunteers / Rules of the house and group tasks (kitchen) We presented a corner with pedagogical resources (books, manuals, websites, movies…)   Group building We continue the process of group dynamic, using different games and exercises focusing body expression and body in the space   Rolling paper memory At the end of the day, each national group took a small time to reflect together in their own language about the day and to register their group memory in a small rolling paper.
Day 2Des-mechanisation of the body and opening the senses We went deeper in the methodology of T.O, approaching slowly the concept of oppression / oppressed / oppressor through different theatrical experiences.   Key concepts of T.O I After a dense physical morning, we do the link between practce and theory and present and explore – through a theoretical input –  the main concepts of T.O. Questions from participants started to raise.   Image Theatre : image / sound / word We continued the journey of T.O focusing on Image Theatre, the heart of the methodology. After one day and half of work and informal time, the group was starting to feel confidence and trust enough to go deeper in the process.  Some special attention was given to music and rhythms made by participants (body, voices and objects)   Rolling paper memory
Day 3Sharing stories Through specific exercises and games, the group defined 4 topics they wanted to work in: Mental Health / Racism / School system / Women issues. Participants divided themselves in 4 working groups for preparing forum theatre plays. All participants passed through the experiences of being actors and being spect-actors.   Key concepts of T.O II We presented the dramaturgy of Forum Theatre with input and answering the diverse questions from participants.   Looking for the question In their forum groups, participants started to discuss and prepare their plays. The facilitators were following 2 groups but the participants were autonomous and independent to work.   Rolling paper memory
Day 4Visit CIM HorizontyFree time and Lunch in Poznan
Day 5Preparing Forum Theatre plays all day
Day 6Last quick rehearsals   Acting Out the plays (1hour each:  presentation + forum):Mental Disease: Is it a crime?To fight or not to fight?La vie en roseJust a woman!   Rolling paper memory   Special dinner to celebrate the plays and work: barbecue with a real fire – Dancing and stories telling around the fire
Day 7Reviewing the Forum Theatre experience and process To support the participants in their learning process, we systematized all the process of the week, reviewing the games and exercises and using their experiences in their foruns to answer their questions and make links with the theoretical concepts. We presented a corner with pedagogical resources (books, manuals, websites, movies…)   Follow up Planning – Local dimension The national groups met and defined their own strategy of follow-up applying what they learned in the training regarding their needs and desires.   Evaluation of the training   Farewell party

Training course in Jarosławki, Poland
6th March – 13th March 2022 r.


Developing Jokers competences – training course in Poland last 6 days.

The second international meeting’s aim developed the competences of the joker while working in local communities;

 Participants of the process have:

 • practiced the role of the joker with support and mentoring of the trainers – experienced jokers of TO methodology;

 • exchanged experiences of using Forum Theatre method in different local contexts with local groups;

 • learned good practices of active members of Cardboard Citizens who are hosts of this event and have a vast experience using TO methodology working with homeless people;

 • got an overview of the Forum Theater plays developed with their local groups;

Day 1Getting back together& welcomming new ones   Reunion & Group building   All exercises were chosen for their relation to Theatre of The Oppressed (T.O) or Art in general (Drawing, singing, dancing…)  The dynamic and atmosphere of the group is an essential key for working with T.O methodology.   Framework and context: Presentation of objectives and the programme of the 2nd mobility   Gathering expectations of participants /   Group building Statue of the concert – Lets rock together focusing on the Image theatre   Review of the group contract Presentation of CIM Horyzonty volunteers team and their roles Rules of the house   Local Impact
Share in international team what has happend on your local level Creative presentation using movements
Day 2Jokering  in practice Groups division Scenarios division   Sharing the roles of Jokers  and actors and actresses Who will joker the process, who will joker the play Preparing Forum theater play in teams   1. Doctors Que
2. Women rights
3. Activism boarder   Getting ready for the group feedback Feedback session What is it? How to give the feedback?
Giving/Recieving FEEDBACK

Giving Make sure sb wants the feedback
Focus on facts, filter from emiotions, opinions, interpretations

dont justify your self

CONSTRUCTIVE Critics DISTRUCTIVE Critics ( judgements, accusing)
Day 3Finalising Preperation of  FT plays working in 4 groups
 Forum theatre plays Presentations –  Acting out   Structure of acting out and giving and recieving feedback     Impressions shared by the group acting out How are you now after the experience? How was it to act? How it was to be a joker?   Asking jokers if they want to get feedback, if yes:   Group Feedback What was the strength in jokering? What helped the joker performance? What would you change, develop, improve in the jokering? Feedback from the group&trainers     1st presentation Impressions shared by the group acting out Feedback from the group&trainers   2nd presentation Impressions shared by the group acting out Feedback from the group&trainers   3rd presentation Impressions shared by the group acting out Feedback from the group&trainers  
Day 4FT Presentations Acting out  4th Forum theatre play Impressions sharing from the presenting group Feedback from the group&trainers Growing process Self- reflection as a jokers performance and role   Lets make a break  – changing context, getting a breath in Śrem  
Day 5Big Questions about FT &T.O – Online session with Laura de Witte Preparing Forum Theatre play all dayLocal Impact visiting Local Community  
Day 6National group meetings: how was the process of FT creation and acting out for me? how do we want to use this experience on a local level?Closing round between the participants about the process What I want to share   Evaluation of the training – choose a photoSilent floorFollow up Planning – Local dimension and seminar in Faro Farewell party

1.  Group process

The group process was very intensive and danimic. First day we spent on getting to know each other –  6 new participants joined our team in this workshop, so we needed time for the group building.  Next we jumped to preparing FT play to practice jokering.

 2.  Program content and  flow

The programme was planned in a way to introduce new people TO in a way they could join the FT play creation.

For the ones who continued the training course it was a chance to take the role as a joker of Theatre Forum play creation with a group and to joker the play its self in laboratory conditions.

3.  Goals Achievement

We have achieved all planned goals.

  • The group created 4 Forum Theatre Plays,
  • The meeting with local community took place with the presentation of FT piece of Forum Theatre Play and discussion of self-care

4. Challanges and successes

  • very diverse group of people – different needs, experiences, knowledge
  • multilingue group – some of people don’t speak english but speak french or portugalist – so some time took the translation
  • the process was too fast for those without experience with Forum Theatre play 
  • for those who participated in the 1st training it was great opportunity to practice jokering;
  • the group went through a crisis phase. Personal conflicts apeared in 2 teams.
  • the process was overwhelming for participants;
  • some people  mentioned it was to intensive on emotional level, wwhat was connected with few point:
  • intensive creation process – TF creation for jokering purpose doesnt leave space for the evaluation of creation process;
  • TF scenarios given to participants appeared for some pax to demanding. ( The one concerning activist working hard in crises situation appeared to much for some participants);
  • fear of covid;
  • fear of war;
  • too little space to talk about the process in the group on day by day process;
  • language barrier and lack of translators support;
  • health issues: virus in the group and mental health problems of some participants
  • people from management team got sick;
  • two trainers present 4 days, than 1 trainer was on her own dealing with the group crises for 2 days;
  • not enough clear information how to take care of the people with special needs given to national group and to the trainers;
  • not all special needs where passed and clarified among participants and organizers;
  • some participants came for the 1st time for such international meeting, it was to demanding for “first time” it required some more experience;


  • participants ready for the intensive process and taking jokering role appreciated a lot the possibility to take the role of joker;
  • participants experience FT play creation in workshop reality  in new way getting from ready scenario to the play;
  • the crises in the group was managed and people could close the process;
  • the closure session was very important to talk what was not talked about;
  • local community activists appreaciated the meeting and getting to know the methodology;
  • the beautiful nature surrounding, the intimate place in the village, rooms and food was very comfortable;
  • in crises moment of travelling back there was very good cooperation with coordinators of the group, and all possible support was given;

5. Recommendation for the future

Regarding management and content of the training:

  • ensure 2 trainers for the duration of all training;
  • dont mix the roles in process oriented training: managment and content wise;
  • make sure all the roles are divided;

Regarding participation of people with special needs

  • Theatre of the Oppressed should be space for people with special needs;
  • check with partners before participants selection capacities to recieve participants with special needs;
  • discuss capacities of  participation of people with the special needs;
  • ensure places for people with special needs with special assisstance and ensurance in the part of application;
  • agree the standards of preparing the team for assisting participants with special needs;
  • say clearly to participants that the TO process is demanding on different levels: intelectual, physical, menthal, emotional;
  • discuss participants readiness, ask if they  feel ready to cope with intensive creation process, ask if they face and challanges, barriers, illness ( physical, menthal) and if there is sth;
  •  ask what the person needs in case sth happen;
  • agree for procedures in case of crises situation with the person, in the team, in the partnership;
  • there is a need for presence of separate coordinator who takes the responsibility for technical issues and manages volunteer’s team work;
  • in case there is language barrier, ensure translation; dont assume participants will be willing for solidarity translation, ask if they are ready for it; during intensive creation process it is too overwhelming to be active, take part in workshops and translate;

Regarding the programme and the process

  • ensure appropriate time to relax and deep reflection;
  • create safe space to share emotions, monitor psycho – physical balance, especially after intensive group process creation;
  • if participants dont  bring their own FT performance, give ready  scenario of FT with light topics not connected so much with current “hot topics” like war;
  • in crises time of delivering the course, balance and adopt the programme according to needs of the participants; focus less on the aims, more on managing the crises and adapting to the situation; fear of covid and war had huge impact on the group;
  • due to the crisis situation meeting with  local community could have been more simple;

It’s up to us what is next! – Closing Seminar Main objectives of the last international meeting are:

Previewed aims&objective

• to reflect on the all learning process and analyze what every participant has achieved

• to evaluate the learning path of all 13 months

• to evaluate to which extend the aims and objectives of the partnership were achieved

• to disseminate the learning outcomes with local community of Faro and Algarve and with international audience using the online platform Workshops session will take place 4 days, 7 hours per day Sessions during the seminar will focus on following topics:

The evaluation Seminar,
Faro 26th April – 1st May 2022

Day 1RECONNECTION   Group reconnection We continue the process of group dynamic, using different games and exercises focusing body expression and body in the space in connection with the topic; what happened during and after the 2nd training; Sharing and Reviewing participants expectations, what is possible in this Seminar;Framework and context Introduction to the programme and local community resources                 TIMELINE – Looking at the all process

Crucial moments for the learning process of the project building and implementation from 2019 when decision was taken;Back to TO Tree from praxis to theory ;Big questions – group meeting what are the crucial questions for me and my group; preparation for the next day session;  
  Day 2JOKERING – To BE or not to BE   Big questions session – discussing  most important questions regarding the FT play creation  process and during acting out the play and forum; two big sessions paralel in smaller groups;Jokers in the T.O. Forrest  – preparing shadow session – drawing every person profile reflexion;Forum Theatre play in practice Visiting T.O. festival in Faro University – participating in FT play “Women right to divorce”;  
Day 3CELEBRATION –  UP TO US, UP TO ME   Self care group practice   Relaxation session – music shower run by one of participant from the group – Music therapist;Discussing the the Forum Theatre experience from Faro University – the play, the forum, jokering;   Self managing time:
Individual level, what did I develop? What do you want to work on? What do I need to start? What will I do with this experience?Planning follow up What is next? planning local actions, cooperation – group level, local and international level;   Evaluation of the learning process Memory trip &  Collective drawing – what we have experienced
in “It’s up to us” long term project;Recommendation for the future;Message for the group – sharing the last impressions and words within our group;Youth pass give out – applause corridor;final celebration – special dinner;  

1.  Group process

  • good dynamic and flow for most of participants;
  • balanced intensity of the programme was appreciated by participants;
  • having previous intensive experience in 2nd mobility, this time the program was less intense and had more space to share about own impressions, feelings, emotions, reflections;
  • there was space created for celebration and closing the learning process;
  • few participants were using free time to have deep individual discussions with trainers or among participants about TO methodology;

2.  Program content and  flow in the evaluation seminar

  • the programme flow focused on closing the learning path and evaluating on learning process;
  • some people were not interested in evaluating the process they would rather prefer farther skills development; participants could be more clear about the aims of the process in Faro in advance;
  • people could be more prepared for the content of the last seminar: reflecting and evaluating of the learning process;
  • self reflection on personal development of Joker skills was highly appreciated and considered as very empowering;
  • balanced time between content and celebration;

3.  Goals Achievement

  • reviewing all the partnership, 2 years cooperation from participants perspective in a timeline;
  • the shadow session seemed very important for most of the participants. Personal Jokers reflection and grow was underlined;
  • balance between practical and theoretical part;
  • very important to see and analyze outside FT play and jokers performance – It was a great way to understand and answer some crucial questions about what to do and what not to do;
  • ideas for future local actions, activities and cooperation were gathered;
  • most of participants are ready to run TO process and they want to follow FT method and techniques;

4. Challenges and successes

  • moving around the city to different places was challenged on the other hand added value, concerning local impact and sustainability;
  • group rooms – for some was going out of their comfort zone;
  • different expectations – few people had need to go back to talk about the experience in 2nd training but there was not space for it;
  • seeing an outside FT play with possibility to take part in the forum; It created ground for important discussion about jokering;
  • it was visible that for some participants it was challenging to stop and reflect on the learning path. They would prefer to  experience more. It was explained and talked about by the trainers with a group;
  • group and self reflection on jokering was highly appreciated by most of participants; supported to close the process of learning. Participants could have realise how big path they went through what they developed in this process, whats their potential and what they want to work on;
  • most of participants feel motivated and ready to take the role of the JOkers and they plan to use concrete methods and techniques learnt in – It’s Up to Us project!

5. Recommendation for the future

  • ensure separate coordinator for logistics to be able to focus fully on the content part;
  • if possible prepare the room for people with virus to seperate them if the virus comes;
  • keep seperate translator for participants with language barrier;
  • focus more on follow up and cooperation and action planning during the evaluation seminar;
  • explain the balance of the programme in advance to participants:  content, evaluation and celebration part;
  • seminar could last one more day; to evaluate learning process with participants and go back to important moments in 2nd mobility;
  • to have space to evaluate the partnership from all the perspectives:  participants, coordinators, partners;
  • could be separate hybrid meeting (online and offline) during the Seminar for all the coordinators from 5 partners;
  • interesting proposal was raised, to keep from the structure 2 mobilities – the training courses , and evaluation seminar do for the partners coordinators.


HUNGARY – Artimiszo

After the 1st training in Poland, participants have the implementation meetings and then 3 days long local forum theatre course in mid October based on the TC1 Competences.

Hungarians have decided to make meetings against the social injustices with 2 parts connecting with migrants and the Hungarian situation. Forum for public was in the end of the course. They used several ice-breakers and drama games from the training (eg. Colombian hand) to warm up for the topic of discrimination, de-mechanize our bodies and prepare the participents to work on a more corporal level.

3 main topics emerged: discrimination against lmbtq members, women and children from state care. The 3 subgroups created sculptures of these topics and the rest of the group had to give titles. It was followed by a discussion about the relevance of these topics in Hungary. 

They used a mapping exercise in the second session divided the participants into subgroups. Everyone wrote examples of discrimination on sheets of paper then lay all of them on the floor. The group categorised the topics and chose one they wanted to work with. 2 smaller groups were formed to work on 2 topics – women at work and Roma students in higher education. 2 plays were presented based on the forum theater guidelines and presented to the other group. The Jokers were the workshop facilitators, who invited members of the audience to suggest solutions. In both cases scenes were repeated and an intense discussion followed. During the whole process they made sure to use short games to keep the group’s energy level and maintain a relaxed and creative atmosphere.

PORTUGAL – Mandacaru

Youth workers have started to work on non formal education activities in schools where participants have usual workshops with children and teenagers in November. They are the direct actions answering to the special needs of the Roma and other minorities students and neighbourhood theatre in Faro:

GERMANY: Bildungswerk Sachsen der Deutschen Gesellschaft

After the first training course in September 2021, a members met with the group of trainees to implement methods of forum theater into so far 3 readings of her self-written children’s books. The first reading took place on September

29th 2021 in Bad Düben (AWO library), October 6th 2021 at City and School library Dommitzsch on

March 16th in Döbeln, Elementary School Mochau.

Please find links to the readings here: (Two local activities, one on September

29th 2021 and one on October 6th 2021 with the title: Theater reading with live drawing for

children between 7-10 years old) (One local activity on March 16th 2022,

title: Theater reading with live drawing for children between 7-10 years old)

3 direct participants of the training course “It’s up to us” found inspiration to start their own

theater group. Since November 2021 as an ongoing project, about half a dozen people from the

“Diakonie am Thonberg”, a workplace for people with disabilities in Leipzig, have been trying different forms of theater, experiencing themselves in unfamiliar contexts, and enjoy the fun of

playing together. The occupational therapist Kerstin Faulhaber has brought this theater workshop

to life. Helena Kauschke, a student of theater studies, now runs the workshop together with

Katharina Scherf, co-founder of the Forumtheater group Leipzig.

Poland: CIM Horyzonty

In November 2021, we started creating the International Forum Theater Group in Poznań as activities of implementing and increasing the knowledge of the Theater of the Oppressed as part of the Erasmus + project “It`s Up to Us”.

Meetings were held every Wednesday at 19:30 in the Strefa Do_Wolności in Poznań. The group consisted of young people currently living in Poland, but coming from different countries, such as France, Turkey, Portugal, Belarus, and Spain.

8 people participated in our winter meetings and together they created short scenes about how they feel in a foreign country.

The jokers of the meetings were people participating in the first training part of the “It’s Up to Us” project: Paco, Marta, Jaśmina, and Vampek. Before each meeting with the group, the jokers prepared introductory exercises, told what Forum Theater is, and led the group to express what they wanted on stage.

More info with photos under the link:

Apart of it, the youth workers of our organization prepared the project of the 1 week winter full workshops of Forum Theatre for children from different cultural backgrounds(mostly Ukraine and Poland) from Poznań’s primary schools. The winter camp was change for the summer camp in July por the pandemic and war reasons.


Participants started in October workshops every Friday afternoon with diverse women from the neighborhood. After her 1st international training course in Poland, Myriel developed from participant to the facilitator in these workshops. They are in the process.

At the end of October meeting about migration in the forum theatre with Italian, French, Spanish and thinking of making workshops from January with this diverse group.

Co-financed under the Erasmus + program of the European Union
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