ERIC Number: ED178740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Popular Theatre: A Technique for Participatory Research. Participatory Research Project. Working Paper No. 5.
Kidd, Ross; Byram, Martin
Popular theatre that speaks to the common man in his own language and deals with directly relevant problems can be an effective adult education tool in the process Paulo Freire calls conscientization--a process aiming to radically transform social reality and improve people's lives. It can also serve as a medium for participatory research. Popular theatre offers a methodology for massive scale application which is manageable by village-level animateurs because (1) it can create awareness of people's own resources and mobilize them; (2) it provides continuity in definition, analysis, and solution of community problems; (4) as entertainment, it attracts and holds interest; (5) the researcher is a committed participant and learner--not a detached outsider; (6) as collective expression, it fosters cooperative thinking and action. Important features include the discussion after every performance, when people share ideas and identify problems, and participation, since everyone can manage theatre, given a predetermined plot line for dialog improvisation; actors are already familiar with issues and situations. Furthermore, this already familiar medium defuses feelings of educational inferiority arising from social prejudice or illiteracy. Adult educators in Botswana have used popular theatre in community education campaigns, resettlement education, Freirean literacy work using theatrical story-telling instead of pictures, and as part of extension work in choosing appropriate technology for rural development. Descriptions of these four examples are included in the paper as each moved through problem identification to action while demonstrating popular theatre's role in social transformation programs. (CP)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Literacy, Change Strategies, Citizen Participation, Community Cooperation, Community Development, Community Involvement, Cooperative Planning, Group Activities, Local Issues, Outdoor Activities, Outreach Programs, Problem Solving, Production Techniques, Research, Social Action, Social Change, Theater Arts, Theaters
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Hazen Foundation, New Haven, CT.
Authoring Institution: International Council for Adult Education, Toronto (Ontario).
Identifiers - Location: Botswana