I am a theatre artist and an education consultant providing professional growth training, facilitating community-based projects using theatre arts to create dialogue in diversity and complexity.

Please drop me a note in comments, I would love to hear from you.


Photo: Krista Fogle
Pavla Uppal  
is a theatre artist and education consultant facilitating dialogue in the diversity of multicultural society. She advocates for theatre arts to be an essential part of community life and learning. Her background is in acting, in directing theatre for young audiences, and in education. She studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic and at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)/University of Toronto in Canada.  She facilitated educational theatre workshops and community-based theatre projects in the Czech Republic, Canada, the United States and Malaysia. 

After graduating from Masters of Arts in Applied Theatre at City University of New York, she is excited to work in Toronto again.

Her creative process consists of two main methodologies:  
  • ·         Devising/Play-building original theatre with diverse groups and communities as a means of exploring inter-generational and inter-cultural issues and as ways of celebrating human connections.
  • ·         Facilitating Image Theatre to explore power hierarchy, to challenge assumptions, and to open creative possibilities.  

Is a strategy or a technique of creating an original theatre without a pre-existing script or text. Devising process steps away from the traditional, hierarchical structure of the creative process, challenging the questions: who has the decision-making power and whose ideas are being acknowledged. It represents a model of  cooperative collaboration and a social expression of non-hierarchical possibilities.

Why Do I Use Devising?

Photo: Krista Fogle
Devising theatre is the practical expression of my commitment to eliminating the gap between theatre and life and of my belief that by creating theatre, we create meaning in our lives and we engage each other in the world. I trust that devising theatre has a potential to disrupt the power hierarchy structures in our society and thus contribute to more just and harmonious society. Further, devising theatre is a learning process – through generating ideas and content, by questioning sources of information, by critically analyzing the material, and in discussions with each other, the devisers learn about the themes they explore, about each other, and about themselves.

Image Theatre 
is an inter-active form of theatre for social change, which addresses issues of power hierarchy. During Image Theatre, participants are invited to become “spect-actors” and actively participate in exploration of possible solutions and alternative choices to the situations. The collective wisdom and the individual expertise of the audience is honoured  by the “Joker” who facilitates the process by asking questions and posing problems rather than offering ready-made or right solutions.   

Image Theatre is part of the Theatre of the Oppressed developed by Augusto Boal, which is a system of theatrical strategies that all seek to liberate individuals, to illuminate the societal power structure, and break the cycle of oppression.   

Why Do I use Image Theatre?

Image Theatre enables people to be part of a mutual discussion and exploration. It doesn’t only show, as traditional theatre piece does, but it breaks the the forth wall and invites the audience to step in and intervene. Image Theatre gives an individual the power for change. I like to think about it as a form of practice for real life. In a safe environment of role-playing, participants can practice to speak up, to stand up for themselves, or for others, and they are able to challenge themselves as well as others.

To find out more about Augusto Boal, and the Theatre of the Oppressed, please go to Theatre of the Oppressed International Organization, Wikipedia on Theatre of the Oppressed
Also, to find out more about the philosophical foundation of the Theatre of the Oppressed, the Pedagogy of the Oppressed and its founder, Paolo Freire, visit the following links: Pedagogy of the Oppressed,