Theatre for Development        

Convener(s): John Walton        


Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations: 



Building Trust  eg if they believe you will come back if you say you will

Connecting with local theatre companies

Need for a very supportive local partner organization / contact

Making sure you’re safe

Immunisations if you’re going abroad!

Thinking about what you will do with no facilities (eg doing things in the open air)

Expect commitment, but not too much

What are the cultural conventions of the societies that you’re going into?

If theatre is about stories, how can we use stories in development work?

If you’re going to a new community, it will be very difficult to have a solid plan, be open.

Dealing with hostility from participants and the community.


C&T (Computers & Theatre) – working in schools across the UK, US, Australia and Africa. Documentary theatre. Filming and making videos to share on the web. Found James Thompson at Manchester University helpful (he does theatre work in war zones)


BRAVE Festival

  • - protecting cultural heritage and connecting groups that are losing their cultural identities
  • - allows these communities to interact


Theatre for Development – a Zimbabean company doing documentary drama and verbatim-style theatre  

One project began by handing out throwaway cameras to children in Peru – this allowed the facilitator to get a real insight into the realities of the community on their terms.


Possible Resources:

  • MA Theatre for Development – Winchester University
  • The Applied Theatre Reader – edited by Tim Prentki?
  • De Montford – on website a section about Cultural Regeneration
  • Forum Theatre


Thanks everyone!