Theatre as a way of discovering common ground between separate ethnic and cultural groups.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Theatre theorists and practitioners around the world have taken on the challenge of developing strategies for bringing diverse peoples together through the use of a range of activities and techniques, many culminating in public performances designed to celebrate a new or restructured sense of community.
Starting from the foundation provided by Victor Turner, whose ideas of social drama and communitas are essential to this research, the author looks at some of the theorists and practitioners – in particular, Dorothy Heathcote and Augusto Boal– who have worked in this area, in order to explore their ideas and methods for using theatre for social change. The work of these theorists and practitioners helped the author to develop a theatrical model that could be employed for her own project. This thesis culminates in an analysis of the work done to produce a community-based performance and to propose, as a result, a model for approaching this sort of work in the future.