Client's Testimonials

Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory, New York

Linda Provenza joined the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory in 1996, first as an intern, then as a trainer. During those years, she has made a significant contribution both to the popular education vision and to the strength of the collective dynamics of the group.

First, her measured, no-nonsense, and pragmatic approach to the links between Augusto Boal’s aesthetics of the oppressed, Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of liberation, and social healing has helped us think strategically about the communities we serve, and holistically about the individuals in those communities. Second, she has consistently modeled effective, non-authoritarian group facilitation by means of rigorous and thorough preparation, clear methodology, and dialogical workshop formats that emphasize participants’ experiences and integrate their feedback at all stages of the learning process. Third, she is also a skilled workshop and residency co-facilitator, who simultaneously focuses on the task at hand, is open to collective process, and takes conciliatory positions, and as such she has helped all TOPLAB members develop guidelines for fluid and mutually rewarding co-facilitation. Finally, she constantly reminds us that if our practice as popular educators is to be ethically coherent, then the action-reflection dialectic that we help set in motion must be rooted in what Boal calls “sym-pathy”, or reciprocal empathy, that is, in the heart.

I always look forward to working and learning with Linda. For me, she is a facilitator’s facilitator.


— Marie-Claire Picher
Co-Director, Peace Education Center, Teachers College, Columbia University and
Education Director, International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE), Global Education Associates
“Linda Provenza is an extraordinary trainer. I know of her extensive expertise from over ten years of collaborations and co-trainings. Linda is excellent at planning and facilitating short workshops, intensives, and extended trainings. She is especially astute at sensing a learning group’s relationship to the material.”
— Janet Gerson, Columbia University
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“I learned so much about myself and the role I play as a leader and team members. I use many of the skills that I learned in my program to this day.”
— Vanessa Cahn Gorelkin, Administrator
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