Approaches to effective popular theatre: history, practice, theory and a case implementation
LE3 .A278 1999
Master of Arts
A theatre created by the middle class, or one that caters to its tastes, will usually strive to reinforce the society as it is. If theatre is to be an agent for change in a society, that wishes to change the structures of power, it will have to come from a different source than the middle class, or from a different attitude within it. Popular theatre, because it relies on analysis done by the people for whom a changed society seems beneficial can be such an agent for change. The goals for groups using popular theatre can be as varied as the groups who use the medium. It is their situation, examined with their traditions, that leads to their unique goal. This thesis first examines the practices of three popular theatre groups: Theatre of the Oppressed, Sistren and The Mummers Troupe. The aims are to explore and examine: (1) how each group works; (2) how, or if, these groups can facilitate without imposing their own opinions on the people with whom they work; and (3) the effectiveness of their work. In the light of this examination, the thesis then describes and critically analyses a project involving twelve adolescent participants and the author, as facilitator, which was designed to accomplish the goals of popular theatre as defined in the thesis. Some preliminary conclusions concerning popular theatre are then drawn.
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