I participated in both the Theatre for Living Trainings (Levels 1 and 2). I am in graduate school now for a program that is considered to be "social justice” oriented - a term that is used so often and has gained such popularity that it seems to have lost its meaning. Embodying my feelings, values and knowledge in the workshops allowed me to reconnect strongly with my own understanding of social justice. This work is a way to open dialogue to individuals and whole communities, whether they are clear about their cause or are in the process of discovering it. Furthermore, as someone working in the academic realm and preparing students whose majors are in Community and Non-profit Leadership, I believe Theatre for Living is pivotal to reminding them that the importance of working within community lies in the communication and value of human relations and not just the intellectualization of “issues." There is something in this work for everyone.

Maya Reisz

Theatre for Living trainee

Since attending the Theatre for Living training workshop, I have experienced an enormous evolution of understanding in the process of group dynamics. My awareness of the delicate balance between planned programming and intuitive facilitation is much sharper. I have a keener sense of what it means to be a facilitator who honours the stories of all the people who are in the room, listening to the voice of the voiceless, blurring the lines between protagonist and antagonist. What I have learned in this workshop has shifted the foundation of my work, and refocused my direction. I am ever grateful for this experience.

Lacey Eninew

Theatre for Living trainee

The Theatre for Living Training workshops (Levels 1 and 2) were incredibly transformational both personally and professionally in ways I was not expecting. I had no theatre experience and was surprised at the confidence I gained in a relative short time. I learned useful skills that I can use as an educator and therapist that will support my work with individuals and groups, but more importantly I learned by watching David and being in his presence. David is highly skilled and highly creative at working with groups as one living organism and using group dynamics to create great art and understanding. He has mastery of working with people and bringing them to rest in their own lives with dignity, compassion and wisdom. He understands and articulate the complexities of human nature and the social justice issues that we all struggle with in different ways. I would recommend this course to everyone who is interested in making the highest form of art and contributing to the social well being of our planet.

Aleeta Grant

Theatre for Living trainee

The 21st Annual Theatre for Living Training Workshops



Theatre for Living has evolved from Brazilian Director Augusto Boal's "Theatre of the Oppressed". It is a way of seeing. It is a way of communicating, of working with people so that the 'living community' can tell its stories. Since 1989 Theatre for Living has slowly moved away from the binary language and model of "oppressor/oppressed" and now approaches community-based cultural work from a systems-based perspective that a community is a complexly integrated, living organism.


Theatre for Living is a world leader in developing community-specific theatre and has received numerous awards. We have over 37 years of history working in more than 600 communities throughout BC and across Canada and the USA, in New Zealand, Germany, Britain, Austria, Brazil, Namibia, Finland, Australia and with numerous First Nations (Gitxsan, Wet'suwet'en, Sto:Lo, Nu-chah-nuulth, Mohawk, Ute, and many others). Theatre for Living techniques have been applied to mainstream theatre, interdisciplinary work, personal/community development, education and counselling.


We are offering a six day intensive training, valuable for anyone who is interested in using the language of the theatre as a part of their everyday vocabulary — artists, activists, social workers, educators, etc.


"This is truly crossing the boundaries of our differences and moving toward a dance which celebrates and honours our diversity."
Lori Whiteman, Superintendent Aboriginal Education Unit, Saskatchewan Learning


"The Theatre for Living training gave me the fire I was missing and was searching for."
Kelly McKinnon, Theatre for Living trainee

What happens during a training session?

The only way to give people Theatre for Living techniques is to do the work with them subjectively. Be prepared to use your own life experiences as someone who works or is interested in working "in community" as subject matter. Because this is a training session, we will spend one hour each day (starting on day 2) looking objectively at the previous day's work.


"A lesson in re-remembering our individual power to ignite positive change and growth in all spaces, this is where the rubber of theory hits the road and takes off."
Charito Gailing, Community Development Program Coordinator, Women's Resource Society of Fraser Valley, Abbotsford


"I want to thank Headlines Theatre (Theatre for Living) for the life changing experience that I had in the Theatre for Living trainings. It was a very powerful and enlightening experience that made me stop and think about my role in different aspects of society and life."
Daria Bondavalli, Italy, training workshop participant

Who is the Joker?

The joker's role is not to educate but to facilitate by asking questions, making connections and bringing to light the intelligence and expertise of participants. David Diamond, co-founder and Artistic/Managing Director of Theatre for Living, uses his political, pedagogical and theatrical knowledge to peel away layers of complexity.

"Your faith in people and ability to "Create Space" is beautiful and rare. Thank You for so generously sharing what has taken you a lifetime to develop."
Nate Pronyshyn, All Nations Theatre, Calgary

Accommodations and other handy information for out-of-town trainees

Please click on the link above for accommodations information regarding how to book your stay at a hostel or elsewhere.

How would I apply this training? and How to Register?

Theatre for Living techniques have been applied to mainstream theatre, interdisciplinary work, personal, community and team development, anti-racism and violence prevention, environmental action, education and counseling. Using a symbolic language, participants develop "emotional intelligence", move towards open communication and begin to create their desired realities in an active and entertaining way. This training will be invaluable for anyone who seeks skills and techniques to use theatrical language to explore community dialogue.


"Thousands of kilometers and 9 time zones! I'd like to thank everybody at Headlines Theatre (Theatre for Living) and around them who made these Theatre for Living Training Workshops possible. Their work and how they share it is overwhelming. It is not only admirable what they do in community work but also an outstanding skill how they teach their methods and ideas. Go on and spread it all over the world!"
Armin Staffler, Innsbruck, Austria

Level One

6 days, 8 hours/day. 30 participants maximum

This initial level of training will delve into Group Building, Image Theatre, and Rainbow of Desire. We will also prepare short plays for a non-public Forum Theatre event.

To register, please send an email to: david@theatreforliving.com

Where: Ukrainian Hall, 805 East Pender St, at Hawks Ave, Vancouver

When: Saturday, July 13 to Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 9:00am - 5:30pm daily

How Much:
$600 + $30 Goods and Services Tax (GST) = $630.00/person (CDN funds)

Please note that the deposit for the Summer 2019 training is non-refundable after June 31, 2019.

"The Theatre for Living training (in Berlin, 2012) was excellent; it has impacted my outlook on life and work. David is an excellent role model. His honesty was something that struck me as so powerful, because he was asking us to be honest and he was being honest first. He modeled what he was training us to do each and every step of the way.

I feel that the idea that everything and everyone is complex, something we try to "do" via conflict analysis, has become ingrained inside my mind and is something of which I am constantly aware. I liked the fact that we did not name one character "the oppressor" and the other "the oppressed" - I liked that there were more layers to it than that - that we all harbor the oppressor and the oppressed. Also, I liked the fact that in Forum Theatre, the interventions were being carried out to create more "safety" or to create more "respect" and that this is what was being explored. It may sound fuzzy, but in fact I think it is revolutionary - because it doesn't pit us against "them", but considers that we are all in this mess and can all do something about it."

Neslihan Ozgunes, Theatre for Living Training participant

Level Two 6 days, 8 hours/day. 30 participants maximum

Prerequisite: Theatre for Living Level 1

Level 2 focuses primarily on Forum Theatre and Joking. Participants will facilitate games, explore Cops in the Head, image animations and Joke Forum Theatre with feedback.


Where: Ukrainian Hall, 805 East Pender St, at Hawks Ave, Vancouver

When: Sunday, July 21 to Friday, July 26, 2019 - 9:00am - 5:30pm daily

How Much:
$600 + $30 Goods and Services Tax (GST) = $630.00/person (CDN funds)

To register, please send an email to: david@theatreforliving.com

Please note that the deposit for the Summer 2019 training is non-refundable after June 31, 2019.