From Passive Spectatorship to Critical Citizenship: Towards a Paradigm Shift for Community-based Theatre Practice in Zimbabwe

Chinyowa, Kennedy C.
September 2010
African Performance Review;2010, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p54
Academic Journal
The practice of community-based theatre in Zimbabwe has tended to be dominated by a top-down development model that seeks to promote passive spectorship. This article examines the major trends in Zimbabwean community-based theatre beginning with pungwe theatre during the liberation struggle, through the post-independence transitional period up to the present. The article argues that the Zimbabwe Association for Community Theatre (ZACT) left a legacy of theatre practice in which individual artists and their theatre groups continue to promote passive recipients of messages rather that active citizens, who can think, feel and act for themselves. The article opts for the integration of community-based theatre with Boal's forum theatre to create dialogue, reciprocity and praxis -- all designed to transform passive spectatorship into critical citizenship


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