Utilitarian theatre forms and their relatedness: the imperative of conceptual clarifications
Theatre in general and applied theatre in particular has beyond reasonable doubt gained recognition for its capability to serve as a participatory communication tool that is geared towards achieving sustainable development. Applied theatre forms like Community Theatre, Guerrilla Theatre, Drama and Theatre in Education and Theatre for Development have been borrowed by many social science and anthropological researchers in their field works, for pursuing their dreams of achieving participatory communication for the purpose of achieving sustainable socio-economic and political development. Fields like Mass Communication, Sociology, Development Communication, Social and Behaviour Change Communication, Social Works, Medicine, Philosophy and many others have found drama as a veritable tool for achieving some set goals. In the course of the borrowing from theatre, there arise the misuse, misplacement and misappropriation of concepts, leading to confusions. In the light of this therefore, this paper is set out to do some conceptual clarifications in the areas mentioned above for the benefits of other communication scholars who use theatre as a tool and exploit the utilitarian nature of theatre. The methodology used in this study is observation and the consultation of secondary sources. The paper concludes that concepts, tools of research and theories be taken very seriously in any research process. They should be adequately and comprehensively understood before they are used to anchor any study; this is more imperative when such theories, concepts or tools are borrowed from other disciplines.
Keywords: Applied Theatre, Participatory Communication, Sustainable Development, Utilitarian, Community