Developing Theatre: Building Expert Networks for Theatre in Emerging Countries after 1945

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Theatre for development: Historiographical and institutional perspectives

The latter part of the 20th century saw a remarkable awakening in the theatre scene in Africa. This can be attributed to the struggle for both content and form of theatre in the post-independence era. A lot of experiments within and outside the academia led to a constellation of theatrical practices that is unique to Africa but also universal. Theatre for Development (TfD) arguably is one of such innovations. This research is an attempt at delineating the historical and theoretical perspective of the TfD concept.
It will focus on historicizing Theatre for Development (TfD) by exploring networks and institutional perspectives to the emergence of the genre and its varied manifestations. Key issues to be investigated include the process and activities of the transnational epistemic networks that led to the institutionalization of TfD in higher education institutions globally.
It will further examine the role of philanthropy and the global development agenda that propelled its institutionalization in the global south. This will be looked at within the context of the shifting patterns of funding from mainstream theatrical set up to the development agenda rooted with the context and philosophy of Theatre for Development.