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|From passive spectatorship to critical citizenship: towards a paradigm shift for community-based theatre practice in Zimbabwe
|Chinyowa, Kennedy C.
|African Performance Review (ISSN 1753-5964)
|Community-based theatre in Zimbabwe has played a limited role in promoting active citizenship. It has been dominated by a top-down development model promoting passive spectatorship. This article examines the development of community-based theatre in the country from its beginning with 'pungwe', all-night theatrical performances during the national liberation struggle (1966-1979). The transition from 'pungwe' to actual community-based theatre after independence in 1980 can be attributed to the Zimbabwe Association of Community Theatre (ZACT). However, this left a legacy which continued to promote a passive audience instead of active citizenship. The author argues for a paradigm shift towards Augusto Boal's theatre of the oppressed (1979), in particular forum theatre, which may be compared to what takes place in a traditional African village when people gather in an open space where court sessions are held, stories told, and dances and music performed. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]