Dear friends and colleagues:

Hello again from the Unceded homelands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (also known as Vancouver). I hope this finds you all well.

No Newsletter for a while….. I leave for 2 months of projects in Europe very soon and so there will be no newsletter in September/October – it seems like a good idea to get one out now…

A reminder that Videos of ALL of Theatre for Living (Headlines Theatre) mainstage productions (1981 – 2018) are now available for free viewing online, as well as many interviews, here!

FINAL NOTICE FOR: Upcoming TfL Trainings and Projects in: Austria, Spain, Germany, Greece (SOME CHANGES IN SCHEDULE)

August 19 – 24 :: Level 1 TfL Training in Innsbruck, Austria

- open to anyone interested in TfL techniques 6 days, 8 hours/day. 30 participants maximum. This initial level of training will delve into the origins and philosophies behind Theatre for Living and explore Group Building, Image Theatre, and Rainbow of Desire. We will also prepare short plays for a non-public Forum Theatre event.

August 27 – 31 :: Making character-driven theatre in Innsbruck, Austria

5 days, 8 hours/day. We will investigate how to use Image Theatre to ground a play creation process in character relationships. These techniques are also very valuable in rehearsing all theatre from experimental to classical. Both these workshops are being generously hosted by SpectAct.

For information about registration and fees contact Armin Staffler:

September 6 – 8 :: a 3-day workshop on issues of Us and Them in Pamplona, Spain will investigate humanity's need (our need) to create 'the other' and how we deal with being turned into 'the other'. How do we build bridges and open doors instead of constructing real and metaphoric walls?

This workshop is being generously hosted by Escuela Navarra de Teatro. For registration and fee information contact Fuen Onrubia:

September 13 – 15 :: a 3-day workshop on issues of "Us and Them": in Hamburg, Germany, will investigate humanity’s need (our need) to create ‘the other’ and how we deal with being turned into ‘the other’. There will be a specific outreach for this workshop to people from the refugee community (refugees and people working with refugees).


Us and Them event

This workshop is being generously hosted by Mortiz Schilk. Please contact him directly for registration and fee information:

September 19 – 23 :: In Thessaloniki, Greece: a Power Play workshop leading to the creation of Forum Theatre plays on issues of the alienation between humans, the planet and other life on the planet. The plays will be created and performed by people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life from around the world, to explore how blockages are manifesting in our lives and getting in the way of us taking collective responsibility and action, in response to climate change.

The Power Play will contribute to create the international conference Play, Perform, Learn, Grow (PPLG): Bridging Communities, Practices and the World, Thessaloniki, Greece, 4-6 October 2019:

For information about being part of the Power Play process contact: Francesco Argenio Benaroio, and please see Oct 3 – 6 for performance information.

September 26 :: a Reclaiming Hope from a Culture of Fear event

September 27 :: an Us and Them event

September 28 :: a 2º of Fear and Desire event

These events are being generously hosted in Innsbruck, Austria by SpectAct. For information please contact Armin Staffler:

September 30 :: A screening of šxʷʔam̓ət (home) followed by a discussion of the importance of reconciliation at a global level, hosted by MCI Management Centre in Innsbruck, Austria. For information, contact: Bastian Oechsle at For information, contact: Bastian Oechsle at

October 3 – 6 :: The plays are rehearsed and performed at the PPLG Conference (Play Perform Learn Grow) in Thessaloniki, Greece. For information about the Power Play and/or the Conference contact: For information about the Power Play and/or the Conference contact: Francesco Argenio Benaroio,

November 28 :: TfL workshop at the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Symposium in Edmonton, Alberta


David's Tour of Europe

"Theatre for Living" coming soon in Spanish!

Coming very soon...the Spanish translation of my book. Thanks Dafne Blanco for the beautiful cover design, Hector Aristizábal for the new foreword, Fritjof Capra for permission to use the original foreword and Juanjo Rubio for the translation!


Teatro para la Vida


Announcing dates for 22nd Annual TfL Trainings in 2020

The 21st Annual trainings are now done. Participants came from across Canada and the US, as well as Bangladesh, Japan, Egypt and Aotearoa (New Zealand). Sadly participants from Ghana and Nepal were refused entry into Canada. Some wonderful feedback is coming in, including this very practical note, used with permission):

"Thanks for the TfL Level 1 training. I just got home and have already used some of the activities in a digital storytelling workshop." Irene Jansen

This is, of course, the point of it all – that people come and take what they can away and use the techniques and the philosophy in their own work.

The 22nd Annual Trainings in Vancouver will be:

Level 1 July 11 – 16, 2020 (open to anyone)
Level 2 July 19 – 24, 2020 (open only to people who have taken a Level 1)

For registration information please email me at:

PLEASE NOTE: This might be the last year I am offering a "Level 2" training workshop. I am considering combining the 2 levels into one 9-day workshop.

Systemic and human, grassroots activism and climate change

As urgency around climate change and polarization increases on the planet, violence and removal of long-fought-for rights are both increasing. Human migration and immigration are going to be unavoidable and this may very well increase incidences of racism and xenophobia – as we are already seeing. In this context, systemic change becomes more and more urgent. And…there is a trap here.

Paulo Freire writes quite eloquently in "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" about how communities sometimes rise up and fight revolutions, and sometimes they win – often to become the very oppressors they were fighting against. We see this happen again and again throughout history. Why? I believe that nature gives us a reason: We 'trick' ourselves into believing that the 'issue' is the structures themselves when, in nature, patterns of behaviour create structure – not the other way around. If we accept and understand this, then it becomes clear that if we work to change the structures, but neglect the patterns of human behaviour that both create and sustain the structures, we are doomed to recreate and/or re-inhabit the same structures all over again. Focusing solely on structural change while neglecting behavioural change becomes self-defeating.

In a healthy ecology, there are many strains of similar species: Many strains of wheat…many strains of salmon…many strains of humans…mono-cultures tend to be weak. The same is true, I believe, of activism.

I know people doing great and urgently essential work on structural change. Theatre is (in my opinion) most powerful when it is dealing with human behaviour. This makes the theatre a great vehicle to encourage the behavioural change that supports and makes structural change both possible and sustainable. All of the TfL projects below, and coming in the future, regardless of specific focus, have this intention at their centre.

Some nice personal news

I was amazed by the many voices David found to explore and how he brought this I was very moved and honoured to receive the "Career Achievement Award" at the Vancouver Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards on July 15. Here is part of my speech: "We know humanity is facing a crisis, unprecedented in human history. The idea that art can exist above politics is a privileged position that many, perhaps most artists in the world do not enjoy. The very act of story-telling is in itself a political act. Whatever stories we put on the stage do one of two things. They either reinforce the status quo, or they challenge the status quo. Those are the options. History tells us that artists can lead the way. Speaking from my generation, our grandchildren and great grandchildren, also other life on the planet, are pleading with us to move through denial, through grief and not only to challenge the status quo, but to act to change it."

Theatre for Living into 2020

There are currently invitations 'bubbling' for TfL Projects in various parts of the world. They will be announced if/when they confirm. If you would like a TfL project in your community please contact me at: We can design something that specifically suits your community's needs.

...and thanks for reading to the very end! David