Symbiosis of the Creative and the Developmental: Assessing Community Participation in the 2021 Odolu Theatre for Development (TFD) Project

Egwemi, O.P., Peter Ogohi Salifu


Community participation is a major propeller in Theatre for Development (TFD) processes. This is given that TFD employs a collective approach to community problem identification, analysis of root causes, and creative formation of findings into performance skits to initiate discussion and social action using participatory drama. The performance aspect of TFD exercises is thus pivotal to the entire process and as such, community participation at this aspect is a catalyst for other aspects. This paper assesses community participation in the performance stage of the 2021 Odolu TFD project and examines its implication on the post-performance stage. Using both qualitative and quantitative designs, data is collected from Participant Observation, Key Informant Interview, and Focus Group Discussions and presented with the use of clustered bar charts, pie charts, and a line graph. Using Simple percentage, findings show that community participation in the performance aspect declined by 84% as the process progressed. Among other reasons, the decline is chiefly as a result of modifications in drama storylines, conflict with domestic activities, indisposition of community members, and inadequate use of folk media. The paper submits that there is a need for TFD practitioners to design strategies that enhance community participation as peculiar to respective communities and re-echoes the significance of harnessing available folk media towards desired results.

Keywords: Community, Participation, Theatre, Development, Theatre for Development

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/11-22-07

Publication date: November 30th 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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