From 16-20 March 2020, our ERC funded project “Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945“ at LMU Munich will be organizing an international conference in collaboration with Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa on the topic Theatre for Development (TfD): Historical and Institutional Perspectives.
The thrust of the conference will be to contextualize the emergence of TfD, especially in the first decades in Africa. From its early beginnings in the 1970s under different nomenclatures and practices –such as “popular theatre”, or “community theatre” – TfD quickly transformed itself into a coherent organizational field capable of attracting significant governmental and NGO funding. It also affected a change in the teaching and practice of theatre studies in many African countries. The argument could be made that the success of TfD in the Global South has contributed significantly to the emergence of Applied Theatre as a sub discipline in many Global North countries.
This conference seeks to 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 non-academic contexts.
We welcome contributions which engage with and provoke dialogue about the historiography of the Theatre for Development paradigm. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following:
• Historiography and Archiving of Theatre for Development
• Periodization and diffusion
• Seminal figures and initiators
• The dialectics of Africa’s development and Theatre for Development
• Integrating (new) media into TfD
• The politics of funding (governmental and NGOs) and influence on TfD
• Theories, Training and TfD Practitioners
• Theatre for Development within and outside the academia
• Networks, institutions and organizations
• Critical reflections within the field
• Brecht, Freire, Boal and the emergence of TfD
Deadline for paper proposals (abstract & short biographical note) is 30 May, 2019.
If you have any question or would like to submit a proposal, please contact my colleague Karim Hakib, (Doctoral Researcher ERC Project „Developing Theatre“)