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 25th Annual Theatre for Living (TfL) Trainings will be:

July 20, 2024 – July 30, 2024

9AM – 5:30PM daily (The 26th is a day off)

10 days, 8 hours/day. 30 participants maximum

Please note: There are no longer separate Level 1 and Level 2 trainings. The session is now Levels 1 and 2 combined in 11 days (including one day off)

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

Join activists, artists, educators, mediators, anyone interested in stimulating authentic dialogue about issues facing humanity who come from around the world for these popular training sessions. NO THEATRE EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY.

Theatre for Living (TfL) has evolved from Brazilian Director Augusto Boal's "Theatre of the Oppressed". Since 1989 TfL 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 acknowledges a community (and all life on the planet) is a complexly integrated, living organism. At this time when polarization is deepening around the world, how do we build bridges of understanding and true collaboration - not walls?

"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

What happens in this training?

The only way to give people Theatre for Living techniques is to do the work with them subjectively. As people come from around the world and from very different contexts, I have found over the years there is something we all will share. Be prepared to use your own life experiences as someone who works on or is interested in 'social justice / human / environmental rights' as subject matter in the training. This can apply inside your work, family or internally. Likely a combination of these! 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.

The days (generally – this may change)

1 Group building, issue investigation, Image Theatre, Circle
2 Discussion, Group building, issue investigation, Image Theatre, Circle
3 Discussion, Group building, issue investigation, Rainbow of Desire, Circle
4 Discussion, Group building, issue investigation, Forum Theatre structure, Play creation, Circle
5 Discussion, Group building, Play rehearsal, Circle
6 Discussion, Group building, Forum Theatre, Circle
8 Discussion, Participants facilitate group building games and Images with feedback, Circle
9 Discussion, Participants facilitate group building games, Images and Forum Plays with feedback, Circle
10 Discussion, Participants facilitate group building games, Forum Plays with feedback, Circle
11* Discussion, Cops in the Head, Your Wildest Dream, Discussion, Circle
*There is a group dinner, usually at the wonderful Afghan Horsemen Restaurant, in their pillow room, after the end of Day 11.

Who is the Joker?

David Diamond. He has over 40 years of history working in more than 650 communities throughout BC and across Canada and the USA, also in Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Brazil, Namibia, Ethiopia and Singapore and with numerous Indigenous Nations (Gitxsan, Wet'suwet'en, Haida, Sto:Lo, Nu-chah-nuulth, Mohawk, Passamaquoddy, Ute, and many others). David is also Visiting Faculty, UNESCO Peace Studies Program, U of Innsbruck, Austria, and was for many years the Visiting Theatre Director, Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine Program, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, U of Alberta.

2024 Details and How to Register

2024 Workshop Dates:

July 20, 2024 – July 30, 2024

9AM – 5:30PM daily (The 26th is a day off)

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

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

How Much:
$900.00 + $45 Federal Goods and Services Tax (5% GST) = $945.00/person (CAN $).

$100.00 Deposit is required to secure a space.
Please note: Deposit is non-refundable after June 8.

Discounts are available on a limited basis.

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.

Accommodation in Vancouver has become very expensive since Covid-19. Affordable accommodation also books very far in advance. Do it now – you can cancel if needed!

I have access to a VERY limited number of Theatre for Living Training alumni who may be willing to open up their apartments as homestays for TfL Trainees coming from outside Vancouver. I cannot guarantee any homestay until quite close to the actual training dates. There are always more requests for this than there will be openings, so please ONLY IF YOUR NEED IS URGENT, contact me at: hello@theatreforliving.com.

"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

"The Theatre for Living training 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