Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC) partners with social service organizations and city agencies, forming theatre troupes with community members who face pressing social, economic, health, and human rights issues. These troupes devise plays based on their real-life struggles, and perform them before diverse audiences. After each performance, actors and audiences engage in theatrical brainstorming – called Forum Theatre – with the aim of catalyzing creative change on the individual, community and political levels.
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
In partnership with the Ali Forney Center, whose mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently, this TONYC troupe investigates every-day issues surrounding the LGBTQ youth community.
Collaborating with Housing Works, this troupe has been investigating discrimination towards New Yorkers whose lives are affected by homelessness and HIV/AIDS since fall 2011. Originally the 13 Theatre Troupe based in Chelsea, the troupe now rehearses in downtown Brooklyn.
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC has established "popular theatre troupes" all over New York City which devise and tour original, interactive plays inspired by real-life struggles. Each troupe creates one to two shows a year which are performed in theatres, community centers, shelters and drop-in centers; and at conferences and festivals including TONYC's own annual Legislative Theatre Festival, and use Theatre of the Oppressed as a medium for communal problem-solving around the issues of homelessness, joblessness and related discrimination. The troupe began as the Jan Hus Theatre Troupe in 2010. They have also been hosted by the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and are now based at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Harlem.