n African Performance Review - From post-performance discussions to intervention and processing : Theatre-for-Development and citizenship issues in Nigeria

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


Community Theatre, Theatre for Development or Applied Theatre, irrespective of whatever nomenclatorial description or title by which this theatre practice is known, all point to new ways and uses to which theatre can be put that is opposed to the conventional form we have known theatre to be through the ages. The precursors of this theatre movement owe more to Marx than Aristotle. However, from Brecht through Boal to the various practitioners across Africa, Europe and Latin America, this form of theatre practice is still evolving.

A defining characteristic of this theatre is its unfinished nature. The structures of the plays are more or less ongoing dialogues. The evolving nature of the practice ensures also that practitioners strive to improve from one experiment to the other in the bid to find a more effective and potent method of getting across to the audience and make projects more effective. From routine post performance discussions, many practitioners and projects have moved to processing using Boal's 'joker' technique to intervene more directly in a performance. No longer does the spectator wait till the end of performance to express his views of what he just saw, but is now empowered to intervene even during the course of a performance.

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