From live performances to the screen: Implications on participation in Theatre for Community Development

Prof. Christopher Odhiambo Joseph

Institutional Affiliation: Moi University, Kenya


The proposed presentation , anchored on historical contextualization of the practice of Theatre for Community Development, attempts to understand the mutation of this practice of intervention theatre, from live performances into filmic mode, and how this mutation in a sense, has complicated its very essence: the participation and concomitant conscientization of communities. To fathom this complication as implicated in the introduction of filmic mode within the orbit of the practice of theatre for community development, calls for a serious and critical reflection on the very defining philosophy and ideology that ostensibly influenced and directed its progression from a message-oriented intervention initiative, at its nascent stages, to its more developed participatory conscious-raising interventionist project. As such, it is within this continuum, that this presentation “reads” two mediated films – Ndoto za Elibidi and Ni Sisi by Sponsored Art for Education (SAFE-Kenya) as attempts at comprehending the ‘politics’ and complexities of participation and conscientization when theatre for community development intersects with the screen.

Professor of Literature and Applied Drama at Moi University’s Department of Literature, Theatre and Film Studies. Has published widely in the fields of Literature, Applied Drama/Theatre, Popular Culture and Film.