Theatre of the Oppressed: A Pedagogical Approach to Enhance Language Learning

Artist: Maroon Theatre Project

Type: Professional Learning

Program Availability: In-Person, Virtual


Theatre of the Oppressed (T.O.) is a widely recognized form of liberatory theatre that centers the lived experiences of the communities it involves and validates their perspectives, emphasizing transformation and social justice. In this workshop, educators will gain insight into how they can integrate T.O. principles and practices into their teaching and learning. The workshop will highlight the importance of placing dialogue and collaboration at the center of learning, empowering learners to become active agents of change in their communities. Through engaging embodied exercises, storytelling, and role-playing, educators will experience the power of theatre to promote critical thinking, communication skills, and self-expression.

Using personal stories and lived experiences, educators will learn to support students to integrate their personalities and style into the classroom. Educators will explore the connections between language and power and gain a deeper understanding of how T.O. can be used as an interdisciplinary approach to course content that equips their learners with the vocabulary and critical thinking skills necessary to navigate oppressive systems and structures in society. Educators will gain practical strategies for integrating T.O into their teaching practices and curriculum in ways that enhance language learning and promote social justice.


In-Person or Virtual

Learning Intentions

Educators will:

  • Participate in a warm-up activity commonly used to prepare educators to engage in Theatre of the Oppressed.
  • Gain an understanding of T.O. origin, purpose, and principles and explore the integration of T.O. principles into teaching philosophy and practices.
  • Learn how to create a safe and inclusive space where learners can share their stories and perspectives and develop a critical vocabulary to enhance verbal, gestural, and written communication and thinking to develop their own voices in the classroom.
  • Use personal stories and lived experiences for creative learning by participating in a story circle and 1-2 Image Theatre activities.
  • Create a short scene together and practice Forum Theatre.
  • Debrief and reflect on learnings through dialogue.

YA Connections

  • NJSLS-VPA: Artistic Process; Creating; Anchor Standard 1: Conceptualizing & Generating Ideas Artistic Process; Responding
  • Anchor Standard 7: Perceiving and Analyzing Products
  • Artistic Process: Connecting
  • Anchor Standard 11: Relating artistic ideas and works within societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

  • Standard 3: Equity & Culture
  • Standard 4: Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Price & Info


Workshop Cost per Day: $1400

Additional Fees: In-Person Program Travel Fee - $95 per day; Virtual Program Technology Fee - $45; (On-Demand programs are not charged travel or tech fees)


Audience Limit: 25 participants per session

Program Length: (1) 90-min Session (Additional time available at $300/hour)

Workshop Minimum # of Days: 1

Appropriate For Grade(s): Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th



Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

SEL: Social Emotional Learning