Marie-Claire Picher of TOPLAB

Marie-Claire Picher, PhD, has collaborated closely with Augusto Boal until his death in 2009. One of the most experienced Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners in North America, she has presented thousands of hours of training workshops in New York and throughout the US. She has worked in Cuba; in Quiche, Guatemala on several projects involving community rebuilding and healing; in Mexico City with street children, and also with peace and social justice groups; in Tabasco, Mexico with a youth community; and in the Mexican state of Chiapas with the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas in the cities of Comitan and San Cristobal, and in autonomous Zapatista communities.

Organising Our Power: The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB), founded in 1990, is the oldest organisation in the United States dedicated to providing ongoing training in the techniques of the Theater of the Oppressed (TO).


Organising Our Power

This workshop, facilitated by TOPLAB co-founder Marie-Claire Picher, introduced practitioners to some of the basic Image Theater games to explore issues surrounding self-organizing and community building. In Image Theater, the body is used to create images that help participants explore power relations and group solutions to concrete problems. Games and exercises are designed to develop individual skills of observation and self-reflection, and cooperative group interactions. The workshop is contextualized within TOPLAB’s activities in various communities, which seek to build solidarity and a greater level of engagement with people who are actively working for social justice and change.