European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Social inclusion through Theatre

Taller realizado por La Xixa Teatre en el Instituto C. Colom y la Escola Esperanza del Distrito de Barcelona. Foto: Soledad Soler.
The Theatre of the Oppressed gives voice to socially excluded and oppressed people through theatre techniques and tools.

What is TO  (Theater of the Opressed)?

Theater movement of TO combines different methodologies such as image theatre, forum theatre, invisible theatre, rainbow of desire... TO was created in the 60’s by Brazilian dramatist Augusto Boal based on the pedagogy of the oppressed of Paulo Freire.


The Forum Theatre, main tool of the T.O., It’s a representation of an anti-model, what we do not want to happen, where there are unresolved conflicts. Through dialogue, guided by the Joker (the facilitator in Forum Theatre) action alternatives are sought, and spectators are invited to propose, and even take the stage to perform their suggestions, becoming “spect-actor”. The discussion and analysis of the viability of each solution, makes participants acquire tools to change their reality.


Video about T.O (La Xixa Teatre):




Thus, the theatre of the oppressed is used with groups at risk of social exclusion and immigration issues, gender, LGTBI, etc.


What is the purpose of the Theatre of the Oppressed?


Within the oppressed there are different techniques to work with both internal and external oppression and tools to transform society and reality.

This Video-Forum, for example, shows common situations of conflict among adolescents and proposes ideas for change:




The theatre of the oppressed can serve professionals working with young people, to guide them in transforming their oppressions through the proposed techniques; it is interesting to use some techniques or games in specific moments, to work with groups with internal conflicts, as a situation of bullying etc.


In the Erasmus+ project FOTEL (Forum Theatre Against Early School Leaving, on it’s Spanish acronym), some workshops were held across Europe with youth groups on early school leaving, performing a booklet with activities to facilitate groups: / node / 59


Video about FOTEL Project:




How to Learn More?

In Barcelona there are several associations and groups using the Theatre of the Oppressed as a tool for social transformation.



Teatre Pa’ tothom

Association that offers annually, courses of theatre of the oppressed, for youth and adults. Their philosophy is to promote theatre for all (pa tothom, in Catalan slang, means for all). The courses are guided by Jordi Forcades, precursor of T.O in Catalonia.



Association specialized in gender issues, which use techniques of theatre of the oppressed to work stereotypes and gender roles, and LGBTI. Cúrcuma offers workshops for young people and professionals.


La Xixa Teatre

Association specialized in interculturality, gender and active citizenship.

Annually, La Xixa offers courses for Professionals on theatre of the oppressed. This year's edition is for youth professionals and is framed in Erasmus + program.


The International Theatre of the Oppressed Organization brings together organizations and associations and forum theatre groups around the world:



Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Barcelona.