An Open Letter To PTO – Pedagogy and Theatre of the Opressed

Dear PTO Members,

My name is Simon Malbogat and I have been a PTO board member
since 2009. I have been using theatre as a tool for social change
since 1989 when I became artistic director of Mixed Company Theatre
and especially since we became a centre of Theatre of the Oppressed in
1992 at the request of Augusto Boal. Even though I participated in
Theatre of the Oppressed festivals and produced the Ripple Effect
Festival I did not feel as connected to others who were doing the work
as I would have liked. The connections were short-lived and in the
theatre world we are all scrambling to survive and who has the time!

In 2009 Boal had just passed away and I went to the PTO
conference in Minneapolis, I was asked to join the PTO board. I felt a
connection to the people attending the conference and I decided to
accept my nomination to the PTO Board. This visceral connection made
me feel that I belonged with this group and the work they were all
doing. The people attending were questioning and observing with an eye
for creating best practices in applied theatre to create positive

Since 2010, the PTO board has created a strategic plan which has
been put into practice by holding telephone meetings once a month
where members report on the activities which they are responsible for.
Such as a beautiful logo and of course the new by-laws which
incorporate where PTO is now and where we want to be in the future.

If you are a PTO member please think about joining a committee,
become a regional representative, write for the journal or the zine
and become part of the PTO movement.

It has been an absolute pleasure to serve with this hard-working,
supportive and committed group of people and I look forward to
continuing positive change through theatre.

Yours Sincerely
Simon Malbogat

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"It was a pleasure having Mixed Company Theatre perform at Riddell. They were able to successfully plan and implement an anti-bullying performance that included all of the key messages and strategies for dealing with bullying. It was an interactive presentation with students participating and problem-solving throughout the performance. It was Grades 4-6 age-appropriate and connected very well to discussing our own school climate and how all of us have a responsibility to make Riddell the safest place to learn and achieve our full potential."

—Wes Hahn, Principal, R A Riddell