Mark Weinberg (MFA, Ph.D. – University of Minnesota) is co-founder of The Center for Applied Theatre. He has 40 years of university experience teaching traditional and applied theatre and communication skills. Mark began his study of TO with Augusto Boal in 1992 and has conducted workshops and training sessions for educators, administrators, students, business leaders, theatres, NGOs and community organizations in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Austria. He has published and lectured widely on theatre and social activism and chronicled the development of collective theatre in his book Challenging the Hierarchy: Collective Theatre in the United States (Greenwood Press, 1992). He recently conducted theatre workshops on activism and commitment with students at the Hun School of Princeton, workshops which use Shakespeare to inspire young people to look at issues of family relationships, bullying, and self-advocacy in their own lives with Optimist Theatre, and a workshop on power, communication, and organizational structure with Arts at Large. He served on the PTO Board for nine years and was editor of the PTO Journal for three issues. A 7th Degree Black Belt in Karate, Mark taught leadership skills through the martial arts for 21 years. He is also a story-telling coach for Ex Fabula.
Jenny Wanasek (B.F.A. – UW-Milwaukee) is co-founder of the Center for Applied Theatre. Her training includes 10+ multi-day workshops in Theatre of the Oppressed with Augusto Boal, Beyond Racism and Ally Building with Healing Our Nation, and facilitator certification with The Virtues Project, in addition to her degree in acting. Her applied theatre work includes interactive projects, new play development, community building, and communication technique and problem-solving workshops for groups as diverse as PEARLS for Teen Girls, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, HIRE, UW-Milwaukee faculty and staff, and various NGOs and other service organizations. She has conducted TO training workshops all over the US and in Austria, has distinguished herself as both a director and actor in the professional theatre, and taught acting, directing, and TO techniques at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for twenty years. She is currently leading workshops on how to talk to children about race and racism and ones focused on Anti-racism and White Fragility for adults.
We have worked with groups creating Forum Theatre focused on many issues including bullying, immigration, running away, dropping out of school, social reintegration after incarceration, alcohol consumption and sexual harassment, pressure to have sex, oppressive pedagogy, coming out, workplace discrimination, intervention strategies, and community building. CAT’s other projects include development of a multi-media installation with public school students around the issues related to bullying and violence, workshops on making positive choices with elementary and middle school students and with first offenders at Project Excel, Fill the Gaps teaching artist residencies in six MPS schools, workshops at the UW-Milwaukee Institute of World Affairs as part of the Global Action Through Engagement (GATE) program, intervention strategy planning at De Paul University, online DEI workshops with Conner Prairie Museum and the UW-Madison MATCH program, and an online workshop at the international PPLG conference. CAT was in residence at two MPS schools conducting Virtues in Action programs using Theatre of the Oppressed to explore colonialism, racism, and community building. A list of some of our past projects can be seen here. You can read about one of the Image Theatre techniques developed by CAT for use in problem definition in Come Closer: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed (Lang, 2012).