Interactive Theater Summer Institute

For more information contact: Jeannie LaFrance

2014 Summer Institute: Using Interactive Theater on Your Campus

The 2014 Institute is full

Thank you for interest! Please check back for information regarding the Summer Institute 2015.

A 5-day intensive workshop covering both theater skills and program logistics.

You may register for the full five days, the first three days (theater skills) or for the last two days (program logistics).

Who Should Attend:
Staff and faculty from campuses based programs as well as community educators, high school staff, social workers, artists and activists from many fields.
PCC: Sylvania Campus, (Performing Arts Center Lobby) Portland, Oregon
July 28 - August 1, 2014
9am-5pm on Monday-Thursday, and 9am-1pm on Friday
  • Theater skills: Monday, July 28 - Wednesday, July 30
  • Program Logistics: Thursday, July 31 - Friday, August 1
Facilitated by:
Rut Martinez-Alicea, PCC SAFE Coordinator and Jeannie LaFrance, Illumination Project Coordinator

  • Full training (July 28 - August 1): $300
  • Theater of the Oppressed Focused (July 28 - July 30): $225
  • Program Logistics Focused (July 31 - August 1): $150
  • $100 deposit at time of registration
  • Please note that the deposit for the training is non-refundable after July 14, 2014

About the Training

3 days focus on Theater of the Oppressed skills and 2 days focus on the logistics of building an interactive theater program, 8 hours/day (1/2 day on Friday). 20 participants maximum.

We are offering training valuable for anyone who is interested in using interactive peer-education theater on their college, university or high school campus. You may register for the full five days, the first three days (theater skills) or for the last two days (program logistics).

Participants will explore the techniques and strategies of PCC’s Illumination Project, PCC SAFE program and Theatre of the Oppressed. These methods are used to promote civic engagement and student leadership and as well as meaningful community dialogue and problem solving around issues of race, class, culture, gender, immigration, religion, sexual orientation, and sexual violence prevention.

During the training we will cover skills around:

  • building community through theatre-based games
  • exploring social and political issues through theatre-based exercises
  • using Theater of the Oppressed with a concentration on Image and Forum techniques
  • developing performance material
  • producing and facilitating public performances
  • creating the infrastructure for a campus-based interactive theater program

This training is geared toward campuses based programs as well as community educators, high school staff, social workers, artists and activists from many fields.

A comprehensive training manual and accompanying DVD will be provided for all participants. If you cannot attend the workshop, you can order the manual and DVD separately.

What is Theater of the Oppressed?

The Theatre of the Oppressed, established in the early 1970s by Brazilian theater activist Augusto Boal, is a form of popular community based education which uses theater as a tool for social change. Theatre of the Oppressed is now used all over the world for activism, conflict resolution, community building and personal growth. Intended for non-actors, it uses theater as a catalyst for both individuals and entire communities to explore issues in their own lives and create avenues for personal, social and political change.

About the Illumination Project

Founded in 2001 the Illumination Project (IP) is Portland Community College’s innovative student leadership and peer education program. The Illumination Project uses interactive theater to address issues of oppression and to foster a climate of equality, compassion, justice, and respect for all people in the PCC academic community and community-at-large.

The Illumination Project admits 20 students each fall into our year-long program. Students apply to be in the program and receive 12 tuition free sociology credits over three terms.

The Illumination Project's interactive community performances are designed so that large sections of the campus participate in problem-solving around issues that  traditionally have made access to higher education more difficult for students of color, women students, poor/working class students, immigrant and sexual minority students.


PCC SAFE, the only program of its kind at a Community College in the US, promotes a Sexual Assault Free Environment at Portland Community College through the implementation of primary prevention strategies so that sexual violence is not a deterrent to pursue educational and professional goals. We design and implement a comprehensive educational outreach program that benefits and engages students, staff and faculty. Guided by social justice principles, PCC SAFE is focused on promoting skill development for bystander interventions through facilitated dialogues and interactive theater; augmenting opportunities for men to engage in the prevention of sexual violence through leadership development; and increasing understanding of socially accepted believes and attitudes that perpetuate a rape culture in and around PCC through educational events, coalition building and community engagement.

About the Facilitators

Rut Martínez-Alicea, a native of Puerto Rico, has over 15 years of experience in developing and facilitating training programs. Through diverse modalities, she develops and facilitates training for multiple learning styles and abilities, in English and Spanish. She has facilitated learning experiences for groups ranging from 5 to 200 participants and ages 13 to 75 years. Her areas of expertise are oppressions, racism, intercultural competence, communication and group facilitation skills, leadership development, and domestic and sexual violence.

As a training facilitator and member of advisory boards, councils and a regional network, Rut has contributed in the development of culturally competent services and policies affecting survivors of domestic and sexual violence (DSV) in Oregon. Her work on behalf of DSV survivors includes the design and coordination of the first 24hrs statewide bilingual (Spanish-English) crisis line in Oregon: Línea UNICA and the 1st program in the US at a community college exclusively dedicated to the primary prevention of rape: PCC SAFE. Rut has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Universidad de Puerto Rico with a focus on power dynamics and fine arts. She has continued her graduate studies at Illinois State University, Marylhurst University, and Portland State University in training and development, in addition to art therapy.

Jeannie LaFrance has over 20 years experience integrating different theatrical disciplines into her work, including, traditional, improvisation, film, social activism, education, Theater of the Oppressed and Drama Therapy. Jeannie coordinates Portland Community College’s Illumination Project, a nationally recognized campus diversity program. The Illumination Project’s mission is to create an inclusive and accessible academic and general community through student leadership development, civic engagement and social change theater.

Jeannie is also is the director Act for Action-Theater for All based in Portland Oregon. Act for Action was founded in 1998 and uses theater and teaches others to use theater as a form of community building, education and social change. Jeannie has worked with a wide variety of nonprofits and schools and has been recognized by numerous organizations for her commitment to social change and her service to the community. Jeannie also teaches Theater of the Oppressed classes at Portland State University.

About Housing

There are different housing options available in the area including a couple local hotels and a hostel. You will need to reserve early (especially for the hostel). Local hotels that range from $45 to $105 per night for a single room and the Portland Hawthorne Hostel ranges from $25 to $48.  We are also looking for some group accommodations. Please contact us if you would like more information on housing before registering - after you have registered we will send you a list of housing options.