• PLEK Methodology

    Participatory Theatre | Theatre of the Oppressed

  • Participatory Theatre

    We facilitate full embodiment of the arts as a real instrument for social and political change.

    Theatre is a pedagogical process and serves as a mirror to enable individuals and communities to reflect on their challenges, analyze their realities and search for perspectives to overcome undesirable situations.


    Our process goes beyond theatre, it aims to provoke social, concrete and continuous actions in real life. In short, we offer life-changing theatre. We see theatre as a training ground for action. Our participants are actively and directly involved in the creative process and they become co-authors, editors, and observers of their own work.


    Theatre of the Oppressed


      Augusto Boal: "We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it"

      Theatre of the Oppressed (hereafter TO) is a methodology created by Augusto Boal in Brazil in the 1970s. It was created to give the ‘oppressed’ a voice and to ‘humanize humanity’ through theatre based on the fact that every human being is theatre. After all, we all play different roles in our lives and are, in fact, all the actors. By playing with situations from real life, you give yourself and others the possibility to gain new insights to implement in your own life and as such in the communities you are part of.


      This methodology allows to explore both on an individual and collective level, and both subjectively and objectively what is happening in a certain unwanted or complex situation. Through the use of games, trust exercises, play, and the power of imagination we explore together habitual behaviour, analyse structures of power and oppression, engage in a dialogue and act out the change we want to see in our world.


      In summary, TO:

      • Boosts imagination and creativity which result in positivity and self-confidence

      • Helps to understand yourself and the world(s) around you

      • And, most importantly, how we might consequently change those worlds

      • Inspires you to observe, analyze and challenge belief systems
    • "If you don’t DO anything different,
      there won’t BE anything different!"

    • The process

      Our goal is to unfold concrete, social and continuous actions to transform realities.

      Raise AWARENESS

      We create a safe learning space(s) and guide group process to get deeper on what is alive within the group.


      We love to play! Our processes are full of creative games and exercises: warm-ups, interrelation, concentration, attention and improvisation!


      From guided physical dialogue to being fully accountable for the creative process. When dialogue goes beyond words! We use our words, but more importantly our body, sound, paint... to liberate ourselves and connect to the artist and playful side of you.

      Promote CHANGE

      We create a safe learning space(s) and guide group process to get deeper on what is alive within the group.

    • Theatre of the Oppressed

      Theatre of the Oppressed Tree from Augusto Boal

      Forum theatre

      Forum Theatre is at the core of Theatre of the Oppressed.
      What's special about Forum Theatre?
      The audience is encouraged to stop the action when they think it necessary, to suggest a different action. The person who stops the play steps in and take over the role of one of the characters - or even introduce a new one.

      INTRO TO FORUM THEATRE LAB - March 9-10th, 2019.


      This 10-hour LAB aims to offer AN INTRODUCTORY EXPERIENCE ON HOW TO UTILISE THE TECHNIQUE OF FORUM THEATRE as a way of social change and civic participation.

      The objective is to explore the principles and basic mechanics of Forum Theatre.


      FACILITATORS: David Limaverde (BR/NL) & Uriara Maciel (BR/CH/DE)

      WHERE: OT301 - Overtoom, 301, Amsterdam (Anamorphic Studio, Last Floor)

      WHEN: Saturday March the 9th and Sunday the 10th, 10:00 - 16:00.

      HOW MUCH: 50 euros inc. BTW - for the whole workshop!
      Cancellation policy: The fee is not refundable.

      WHO: artists, activists, educators, therapists, youth workers, youth arts workers, youth theatre leaders, drama facilitators,
      community workers, teachers, and everyone interested in social change and in exploring Forum Theatre.

      This lab is suitable for beginners.

      The workshop has a maximum capacity of 10 participants.

      For registration, payment info, questions etc, please write to david@plek-maken.nl


      Originally, the technique was developed by Augusto Boal (1931-2009) as a political tool for social change (part of the Theatre of the Oppressed), but it has also been widely adapted for use in educational contexts. This technique breaks through the barrier between performers and audience, putting them on an equal footing. It enables participants to try out courses of action which could be applicable to their everyday lives.

      Forum Theatre encourages people to find solutions, through debate that is action led. It can be used with people of all ages in community centres, workplaces, schools, with homeless people, disabled people or anywhere that people experience oppression.



      David Limaverde is an Amsterdam-based, Brazilian-born art educator, performer and researcher with experience and interests in art-activism, theatre and participatory/community art methodologies. He holds a MA in Performance Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in Arts and Education from the University of Barcelona. He is a member of PLEK-maken and part of the group Ally Theatre – and teaches, uses and multiplies participatory theatre methodologies.

      Uriara Maciel – Actress, cultural producer, Theatre of the Oppressed facilitator and joker. She is part of Ma(g)dalena International Network (Theatre of the Oppressed for Women), Anastácia Collective Berlin (Theatre of the Oppressed for Black Women) and Kakalakas Collective, also in Berlin (Theatre for Latin American Migrant Women in Germany).



      PLEK & Home of Participation is a Dutch-based organization that develops, facilitates and researches Participatory Theatre projects for groups in conflict, at risk and in need. It uses a range of participatory art methodologies as a tool for community building and social change. VISIT our website www.plek-maken.nl and www.homeofparticipation.art



      Drop us your questions or comments in an email to david@plek-maken.nl

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