The global COVID-19 pandemic caused severe disruption in the lives of communities around the world. Besides revealing the glaring inequities and the skewed priorities in our systems of education, healthcare and governance, nationwide lockdowns, social distancing norms, work from home, etc have heightened  anxieties and intensified mental health challenges for everyone. Theatre has always been a great resource for communities and with on-site physical theatre ruled out, it was important to figure out a way to reach out to people. As we pondered this challenge, we received requests from a few communities for online workshops that would address specific issues that they were struggling with, brought on by the pandemic. We realised that there was a real and urgent need for spaces where people could gather, share and support each other, both emotionally as well as by sharing of skills and knowledge. Theatre of the Oppressed is uniquely capable of creating such spaces, and so we felt encouraged to experiment with adapting a few techniques for online processes.

To address the growing need for Theatre of the Oppressed during the time of the pandemic, CCDC decided to take some of its activities online through three main avenues:

  1. Theme-based Workshops - We conducted online Theatre of the Oppressed workshops for youth, women in professional spaces, and senior citizens, addressing issues such as ‘performance anxiety’, ‘online harassment’ and ‘connecting across distances’. The feedback from participants in these workshops has encouraged us to offer workshops on similar themes, or other themes that communities suggest.

  1. Theatre of the Oppressed courses - We also offer online Theatre of the Oppressed courses for beginners as well as those interested in deepening their understanding of TO.

  • Understanding Theatre of the Oppressed
    This online course is the perfect way to get started if you are looking for a creative tool to work with communities, or seeking a transformative process for yourself. This workshop offers an introduction to the basic principles underlying Theatre of the Oppressed. Central concepts will be discussed through stories and examples from workshops. The course will be helpful for those considering a longer workshop or a full-fledged facilitator training, as well as those seeking to deepen their understanding of TO.
    To know more, email us at

  • Jokering Forum Theatre
    This course on Jokering Forum Theatre is aimed at those who have have previous training in Theatre of the Oppressed. Participants will have an opportunity to explore the nuances of Jokering as we discuss different aspects of the Forum Theatre process, from creating the script to working with the audience. The discussions will help strengthen participants' understanding of the pedagogy and practice of TO.
    Read more about this course here >

3. Building Community - Staying connected with the CCDC Joker community has been another one of our priorities. Over the last 10 years, more than 300 participants from around the world have completed CCDC's Facilitator Training. This collective group is fondly referred to as Bangalore Jokers or BJs. When the pandemic struck, and lockdown was announced at the end of March 2020, we reached out to this group, suggesting a check-in meeting using the video conferencing platform Zoom. BJs responded enthusiastically, and we have been holding weekly Zoom sessions since mid April - a total of 32 sessions over 8 months, and  a space for gathering, sharing, learning and supporting each other as we experimented with online adaptations of Theatre of the Oppressed.

The evolution of this idea into regular  weekly meetings that became a space for gathering, sharing, learning and experimenting with Theatre of the Oppressed is documented here.