Katy Rubin is a Legislative Theatre practitioner based in the UK, working with local city councils, advocacy organizations and community groups to co-create policies and practices that are human-centered, equitable, innovative and effective.

She is also the former founding executive director of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, a nonprofit organization that partners with communities facing discrimination to spark transformative action. Since 2011, TONYC has created theatre troupes with various communities impacted by structural oppression, presenting free, interactive public performances each year for thousands of New Yorkers. TONYC developed and popularized the practice of Legislative Theatre in the United States, and changed NYC policy and practice. *Check out their upcoming shows and workshops here!*

Katy trained with creator of Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal, in Brazil, and has led projects with activists and artists internationally over the past decade. She holds a BFA in Acting from the Boston University School of Theatre and is an alum of Coro Leadership New York. She’s also a retired circus artist!

EXPERIENCE

Legislative Theatre and Participatory Democracy Practitioner — 2019-present

Design, coordination and facilitation of Legislative Theatre participatory policy-making processes across the United Kingdom. These include long-term policy platform development projects as well as capacity-building initiatives, workshops and short intensives.

Ongoing and Recent Projects

  • Policy Issues: homelessness prevention, private rental sector, climate crisis, transport, city planning, NHS access, mental health services, cultural policy, civic engagement

  • Local Councils: Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Glasgow City Council, Coventry Council, Islington Council

  • Partners: Greater Manchester Housing First, Shelter, Union Chapel London, Migration Yorkshire, GM Homelessness Action Network, Shared Future CIC, The Men’s Room, Cardboard Citizens, Arts Homelessness International, Collective Encounters, Mind the Gap, University of Virginia Charlottesville, People Powered

Theatre of the Oppressed NYC — Founder and Executive Director, 2011-2018

  • Grew a start-up organization into an $800,000 nonprofit, representing an average annual budget increase of 66% from 2011 to 2018.

  • Negotiated purchase of permanent office and community space for TONYC in Times Square.

  • Developed a unique community-led organizational structure, prioritizing leadership pipelines and hiring within directly-impacted communities.

  • Led Theatre of the Oppressed trainings for nonprofits, educators and city employees around the US and internationally.

  • Co-founded Sustainable Sisterhood, a resource-sharing network of women executive directors of social justice nonprofits.

Yale School of Drama — Faculty, 2019

  • Theatre of the Oppressed course for third-year MFA Acting students

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

Montreal and Toronto, Canada; Manchester, UK 2017-2018

Delegate to international arts and homelessness exchanges with TONYC actors

Sydney, Australia 2016

Devised original Forum Theatre play in residency with 30 homeless artists

Leon, Nicaragua 2011-2012

Trained 40 community members in TO and created original plays addressing environmental issues and domestic abuse

Bradford & London, England 2011

International exchange with learning-disabled and homeless theatre companies

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Coro Leadership New York, NYC 2016

New York Foundation for the Arts, Artists as Entrepreneurs, NYC 2010

Jana Sanskriti, Indian Fed. of Theatre of the Oppressed, Kolkata, India 2010

Center for Theatre of the Oppressed (CTO-RIO), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2008

Boston University School of Theatre BFA Acting, Summa Cum Laude 2007

London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, England 2006

AWARDS

Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award, 2018

City Council Citation, 2015

Youth for Human Rights Award, 2012

Theatre Communications Group: Global Connections, 2011

Shapiro Family Fellowship, 2011