Theatre for Development (TfD) as an academic discipline and global practice has become fully integrated in post-colonial and development cooperation discourses. It has for decades been the theatrical medium of choice to effect social change in many developing countries. This conference will contextualize the emergence of TfD, especially in the first decades in Africa. From its early beginnings in the 1970s under different nomenclatures and practices – “popular theatre”, “community theatre” – TfD quickly transformed itself into a coherent organizational field capable of attracting significant governmental and NGO funding. It also effected changes in the teaching and practice of theatre studies in many African countries. The success of TfD in the Global South has arguably also contributed to the emergence of Applied Theatre as a subdiscipline in many Global North countries. This conference will explore the genealogy, the varied contexts of its development, theories and institutional perspectives. Key issues the conference will interrogate include the varied manifestations of the genre and its influence across cultures and continents; funding (Governmental and NGOs), networks of individuals and institutions that propelled its rapid growth and acceptance within academic and nonacademic contexts. The speakers will engage with and provoke dialogue about the historiography of the Theatre for Development paradigm.
Prof. Penina Mlama
Prof. Tim Prentki
Prof. Oga Steve Abah
Venue: The Arts Campus, 24 Du Toit Street, Faculty of Arts and Design, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Date: 16th March to 20th March 2020
Convenors: Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme and Mr. Abdul Karim Hakib