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As leading practitioners of Forum Theatre, Cardboard Citizens is hosting specialist training courses in aspects of the Theatre of the Oppressed.

These courses are led by Adrian Jackson, Augusto Boal’s translator and frequent collaborator, with the participation of members of Cardboard Citizens, the UK’s only homeless people’s professional theatre company. The courses, all held in London, offer an ensemble of techniques and approaches and are suitable for anyone interested in using theatre to encourage social change.


FORUM THEATRE TRAINING WEEK IN LONDON 29th November – 3rd December 2010 Held at National Youth Theatre, Holloway Road, London, N7 6LW ‘A real understanding of the benefits for an audience and how, when led properly, effective Forum Theatre can be to empower people.’ - Participant 2009 Led by Adrian Jackson, the artistic director of Cardboard Citizens and featuring a demonstration performance from Cardboard Citizens. Throughout this intensive weeklong course, participants will investigate the theory and practice of Forum Theatre. A number of simple games and exercises centred on trust, confidence and group integration will be introduced enabling participants to lead workshop sessions within their own group or communities. Participants will look at how to devise a Forum Theatre piece and how to conduct a public Forum session. Cardboard Citizens will present one or two finished pieced as models of development. The week will culminate with a performance of the Forum Theatre pieces devised by the group to an invited audience of friends. Reference will also be made to Legislative Theatre practice. Legislative Theatre is a method in which Forum Theatre is used as a basis for the formulation of policy, rules or legislation, in any body from school to government.

Who is it for? Anyone interested in using theatre as a tool for debate and social change with communities; theatre practitioners, social activists, teachers, community workers, youth workers. No experience necessary.

Cost Full Price £700 Voluntary Organisations/Individuals £530 All prices include VAT

How to book? Please visit to download our booking form.

‘The workshop gave me a real clarity about how I could use Forum Theatre with the young people with whom I work. It also made me realise how not to go about using Forum Theatre which was equally as useful!’ -

Participant 2009


FORUM THEATRE FACILITATOR (“JOKER”) MASTERCLASS Dates in November to be announced shortly This intensive two-day course will focus on the skills of the joker (facilitator/ ‘difficultator’) and the dramaturgy of Forum Theatre plays. The workshops will be led by experiences of participants and will include sessions about: generating participation, stimulating nervous audiences, ‘difficult’ interventions, working with particular constituencies, and how and when to end a Forum show. ‘Thanks so much for a great Joker weekend - I came away very inspired and re-energised.’ - Participant 2010 Participants will have the opportunity to ‘joker’ a section of a ready-made Cardboard Citizens show or a ‘blank’ Forum Theatre piece generated by the group.

Who is it for? For people already familiar with Forum Theatre, and/or facilitators from other disciplines.

Cost Full Price £350 Voluntary Organisations/Individuals £285 All prices include VAT

How to book? Please visit to download our booking form.


RAINBOW OF DESIRES An introduction to Boal’s “Theatre and Therapy” 28th February – 2nd March 2011 Held at National Youth Theatre, Holloway Road, London, N7 6LW Rainbow of Desires is the over-arching name given by Augusto Boal to a range of exercises, games and techniques he devised, using the power of theatre to identify, analyse and respond to “internalised oppression”. This three-day course will give participants a detailed understanding of Rainbow of Desires techniques, their relation to Boal’s other tools such as Forum Theatre, and their practical applications, from the operation of a therapeutic group to the rehearsal of a play. "Thanks for such a packed week, full of good stuff for us to use." (Participant, 2008) Each of the 3 days will involve the development of simple games and exercises, followed by the practice of one or more substantial techniques: The Circle of Masks and Rituals: exploring the masks we don for different areas of our lives; • • • •

Image/Counter-Image: using the filter of storytelling to investigate how we show and see moments of oppression; The Analytical Image: working from subjectivised distortions of an improvised replaying of a difficult moment; The Rainbow of Desires: identifying and clarifying our desires through the use of images; The Cop in the Head: inhibiting or directing voices in our consciousness that limit our possibilities.

Who is it for? For people already familiar with Forum Theatre, and/or facilitators from other disciplines.

Cost Full Price £420 Voluntary Organisations/Individuals £320 All prices include VAT

How to book? Please visit to download our booking form.


Theatre of the Oppressed The Theatre of the Oppressed is the over-arching title for the whole theatrical methodology pioneered by Augusto Boal. It is an ensemble of techniques, rooted in an ethical framework, designed to enable change, both within the individual and society, with particular application to communities experiencing oppression. This work can be used in an incredible variety of settings, from classroom to prison, from development situations to the legislative chamber, from youth centres to elders club. The techniques are also used within the therapeutic community, to empower participants and to eliminate blocks to action. Variously Augusto Boal described his work as a ‘rehearsal for revolution’ and a ‘rehearsal for reality’.

Forum Theatre Forum Theatre is an interactive theatre form invented in the early 1970s by Augusto Boal. An audience is shown a short play in which a central character (protagonist) encounters an obstacle which he/she is unable to overcome; the subject-matter will usually be something of immediate importance to the audience, often based on a shared life experience or oppression. During Forum Theatre the audience becomes actively involved in the proceedings, moving from spectator to ‘spect-actor’ to examine the central character’s choices in the play. In the Forum session itself, audience members have the opportunity to take the stage and show how they believe the protagonist’s dilemma could be differently handled. The proceedings are overseen by a facilitator, ‘the Joker’, who ensures the maximum participation and most productive discussion..


About Cardboard Citizens... Established in 1991 as a project by the London Bubble Theatre Company, Cardboard Citizens was named by its participants after its first project. For the first four years it toured Forum Theatre by homeless people to other homeless people, up and down the country, in hostels, day centres, arches, and the street and at conferences. Cardboard Citizens believes that the challenges faced by homeless people are about more than just the lack of a physical home. And that the performing arts can be an empowering instrument for personal and social change. Every year the company reaches more than 1,500 homeless and at-risk Londoners – including young people not in employment, education or training, ex-offenders, refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, people dealing with alcohol and substance misuse, and those who are poor, vulnerably housed, or otherwise excluded from the rest of society.

About Adrian Jackson... Adrian Jackson is the founder and artistic director of Cardboard Citizens. He translated five books by Augusto Boal into English, and was a frequent collaborator with him. He has worked with a wide variety of communities in the UK and in development and academic contexts in Europe, Africa and Asia, using techniques of the Theatre of the Oppressed.


Theatre of the Oppressed  
Theatre of the Oppressed  

Training Booklet