Towards a poetically correct theatre for development : a dialogical approach.
The critical understanding of 'development' presented in this thesis has its focus on the
Green Revolution and its effects. The general view that resulted from this analysis
points to how development policies have worsened life for large sections of the world's
population but favoured global trade in a scale unthinkable during colonial times.
Different types of practices that are identified with the term Theatre for Development
were classified into three categories. This helped to highlight the specific contributions
of the Dialogical Theatre for Development' approach, which is based on Paulo Freire's
principle of respect for the knowledge and culture of rural and urban community
members. This category is presented as the one that could help to resist the injustices of
Aside from an affirmation of the methods of the Dialogical Theatre for Development
practices, this thesis presents a criticism of its discursive approach. The 'poetically
correct' theatre I am advocating should search for a poetical expression, have the right to
use fantasy and imagination, and to experiment with both form and content as part of its
creative process, without losing touch with reality. How could the Dialogical Theatre
for Development approach be 'poetically correct'? The suggestion presented is based on
the expansion of Freire's concept of codification to include imaginary representations of
Three contemporary practices of Theatre for Development in Brazil, England and the
Philippines, are presented, in order to identify current trends and to try to improve
understanding about methods and form in the Dialogical Theatre for Development.
The expected results of this thesis include the clarification of the meaning of Theatre for
Development, an increased awareness in relation to the importance of methods of
interaction with communities, and a challenge for those who support theatre practices
within communities of the First and Third Worlds, to develop works in which the
imagination is free to consider reality.