Theatre can play an essential role in addressing issues of power in social, political and cultural relationships, and acting as a catalyst for personal and societal change. This comprehensive and lively sourcebook advocates the use of theatre in participatory development as a way for groups to discover their own goals and aspirations, and to develop strategies for improving their lives based on need and experience. The first part presents 140 exercises designed to be used at all stages of participatory workshops ranging from initial ice-breakers and warm ups to exercises dealing with conflict resolution, power relations, issue-based work and project evaluation. Each exercise is explained in an easy-to-follow format and is followed by commentaries from experienced field practitioners. The second part contextualises theatre for development practice within current debates on empowerment and participation, and presents case studies illustrating the diverse contexts in which theatre for development can be used.
Julie McCarthy is a Theatre for Social Change practitioner and researcher, working mostly in Latin America and the UK, currently based at the University of Manchester.