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Theatre for Development (TfD) means live performance, or theater used as a development tool–as in international development. TfD encompasses the following in-person activities, with people or “puppets”, before an audience: a spoken-word drama or comedy; a music, singing and/or dance production; a production with movement but no sound (mime) and participatory or improvisational techniques using any or all of these. Theatre for Development can be a kind of participatory theatre, that encourages improvisation and audience members to take roles in the performance, or can be fully scripted and staged, with the audience observing. Many TfD productions are a mix of the two. “Theatre of the Oppressed”, a technique created by Augusto Boal is a form of participatory theatre for development.
According to Kees (2006:98), theatre refers to a “collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place.” To communicate this experience to the audience, performers will rely on gestures, speech, song, music and dance or a combination of all these. Performers mostly make use of elements of design and stagecraft to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience.

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Theatre has been an important part of human culture for more than 2500 years and in that time, it has advanced to include a wide range of different theories and practices. Among these theories and practices, some are linked to political or spiritual ideologies, whereas others are centered purely on artistic concerns. Some processes focus on a story, some on theatre as event, and some on theatre as catalyst for social change.

Theatre for Development (TfD) is a development drill that uses performance as a hands-on tool to help individuals and groups share their experiences intending to cause social change. TfD offers a practical and theoretical investigation of the ways in which the arts can be used by communities to create social change on their own terms. The fundamental constituents of all TfD work are democracy, participation and sustainability.

Theater for development can also be defined as advancement from less collaborative theatre forms to a more dialogical process, where theatre is practiced with the people or by the people as a way of endowing communities, paying attention to their worries, and then encouraging them to bring out their problems and finding solutions on their own.
Conventional theatre also called Stage theatre is the performance of a drama on a stage in which actors wear costumes and make use of props and fully a well written script. This is usually performed in front of an audience who in most cases are paying audiences. This is what is known as theatre in the traditional sense. The type of theatre performed at the Schools and Colleges Drama festivals, at the Lusaka Theatre Club, are examples of conventional theatre. In all these examples, organized theatre troupes perform a written drama for a paying audience.

On the other hand Non-conventional theatre also called Community theatre does not rely on qualified or trained actors or does it make use of written scripts, instead it is a way of performing the acts in which the actors can have their own script in mind provided the objective or experiences is being communicated. It can be done even on an open space and not in the hall or theatre building. It does not have a clear division between the performers and the audience. Usually it is not performed for a paying audience because it is in an open space and any person can walk by, observe, and participate. Some social concerns that have been addresses using the non-conventional theatre may include public health issues, democracy, spiritual growth, gender equality, and peace initiatives. There are many variations and types of non-conventional theatre, designed based on their functions, manner of implementation, site of implementation or even the source from which it is derived.

Additionally, community theatre uses theatre to interact with the community. While interacting and working together, theatre is used by the actors and the audience to discuss and solve problems that they feel is prevalent in the community. This type of theatre is mostly used to bring together the community members for the purpose of educating them on certain aspects or issues within the community that can help to bring about social transformation or change.
Community theatre can be of many different approaches. Some may involve actors together with the audience having to work together and come up a script that can be performed as drama and analyse community problems together and agree on amicable solutions to the problem.
Examples of community theatre include: Guerrilla theatre, Forum theatre or theatre of the oppressed, Street theatre, Agitprop theatre (Agitation-Propaganda), Newspaper theatre, Participatory Educational Theatre, Theatre in Education, Magnet Theatre, Theatre in Development, and Ambush theatre (Citation).

From the foregoing, it could be said that TFD in Zambia has come to stay, for people to use to think and act on the problems of their community. In fact, Illah (2004:6) affirms, “theatre can now be used as a participatory tool to ensure the sharing of ideas and the changing of attitudes towards sustainable development.” For best results, TFD practitioners must employ certain modes which are relevant to people’s mode of artistic expression in order to conscientize them towards social, political and development.

Kasama Theatre Arts Production
Kasama Theatre Arts Production hereinafter being referred to as KATP is a group of performing arts based in Kasama, Zambia and gender sensitive. KATP was formed in 1993 and operated in the name of Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) Northern region. In 1999 the group changed its name from PPAZ to Big Six. The group was called by this name up to July, 2005. To many people Big Six meant a group comprising only six people which according to the general understanding of the public, the group should not have more than six members. Another big meeting was called involving major stakeholders and partners. After brainstorming, the group was renamed as Kasama Arts Theatre Production. This also meant revising the Vision and the mission statement.

In order to deliver the intended information to the masses with a Zambian flavour, Kasama Arts Theatre Production works to promote networking with partners such as Community based art groups, interest groups and individuals and other public institutions by using the integrated approach in performing its activities in an effective, comprehensive and indeed objective manner. This means that Kasama Arts Theatre Production (KATP) being a community group, it endeavors to work with the community and ensure that all its productions address the issues of the community, this being in line with theatre for development theory.
CompositionThe group is composed of members from Kasama Communities throughout the district and other community theatre stakeholders.

Legal status Kasama Theatre Arts Production (KATP), is registered with National Arts Council of Zambia (NACZ) established by an Act of parliament No. 31 of 1994 and statutory instrument No. 129 of 1995 as an Art Association, and an affiliate of Zambia Popular Theatre Alliance (ZAPOTA).

VisionUsing popular theatre for sustainable human development Mission Statement Kasama Arts Theatre Production is a group of performing artists armed at entertaining, informing, sensitizing and education the community through performing arts.

GoalTo contribute towards social and economic development through contemporary Arts
Objectives1. To entertain, inform, sensitize and educate the community through performing arts,2. To ensure that all collaborating partners are given equal access, quality services.3. To reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate and scale up awareness, prevention and treatment programs to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS and the other reproductive health concerns among communities by using expressive arts.

4. Use cultural participation and expressive arts as a viable tool for development.

In summary, Theatre for Development aims to offer an alternative approach and medium by which theatre can be of direct service to the marginalized urban and rural peasant masses. The TFD approach which is gaining slow ascendancy in Africa, in countries such as, Zambia emphasizes collectivism and participation.

It stresses community and inter-personal participation in self-realization and uses existing and familiar performance forms in the various communities such as songs, dances, music, storytelling, puppetry and mime to either validate those cultural forms or serve as an adequate instrument to bring about social change in those communities.

Epskamp, Kees (2006).Theatre for Development: An Introduction to Context, Applications ; Training. London: Zed Books
Kabwe Kasoma (1974) Theatre and Development Media in PSC ,Lusaka, UNZA Press McCarthy, J (2004)
Enacting Participatory Development: Theatre-based Techniques, Cambridge University Press.
Plastow, J. (2004) Theatre and Empowerment: Community Drama on the World Stage, Chicago, University of Leeds.
Obafemi Olu (2003). The Role of Theatre in Sustaining Democracy in Nigeria. A key note paper presented in a seminar organized on the occasion of the International Theatre day commemoration in Lagos by the National Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP). Alliance Francaise, Lagos,March 26, 2003.

Theater as a Means of Moral Education and Socialization in the Development of Nauvoo, Illinois, 1839-1845, thesis by Hurd, L., California State University, Dominguez Hills. 2004
UNICEF (2007) PSC Workshop on Communication for Social Development,held at the University of Zambia, Lusaka, 29 April to 10 May 1974, Lusaka, Zambia.


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