Theatre. Community. Change.

Code: IET420
Apply this course towards: Intercultural Education

Course description

This course is designed to introduce participants to methods of theatre that can be used when working with marginalized or disempowered communities. Through interactive and hands-on sessions, you will experience the uses of theatre for creating community dialogue and raising awareness. You will be asked to participate in theatre and drama based exercises in order to develop an understanding of ‘theatre for development’ and ‘theatre of the oppressed’, which are two fundamental methods of Applied Theatre.  Practical experience will serve as a foundation for you to further explore methods of using theatre in your own work with different communities. This class will combine theoretical studies of community-based theatre, with the practices of theatre for development and theatre of the oppressed. Theoretical topics that will be explored are: theatre and participation, facilitator’s responsibilities applied theatre; ethical considerations when working with vulnerable & marginalized communities; measuring the impact of theatre work with communities; the role of the non-government organization (NGO), and its politico-economic implication of interventionist theatre. 

Learning objectives

Through an approach that combines the theoretical and practical study of theatre for development and theatre of the oppressed, you will:

  • Develop an awareness of the reasons why theatre has been used as a form of social change.
  • Gain knowledge on the different components of theatre for development: the donor agency, the facilitator, and the participating community.
  • Formulate an understanding of the pedagogy of the oppressed, and how it became the impetus for theatre of the oppressed.
  • Distinguish between marginalization and oppression through the examination of several case studies and gain an awareness of the different theatre approaches to consider when working with these different groups.
  • Critically analyze case studies of different theatre for development projects that took place with communities, and discern the positive and negative aspects of each project.
  • Experience the practice of theatre for development and theatre of the oppressed methods and gain an ability to reflect on your practical experience.
  • Build group dynamics through the collective creation of different dramatic scenes that depict your understanding of certain life experiences.
  • Use the theatre skills that you learned to develop a basic facilitation plan to implement in a community project.

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