The Appropriation of the Alienation Effect by Selected Theatre for Development Troupes in Kenya
This study examined the use of Brecht‟s concept of the alienation effect by selected theatre for development troupes in Kenya. It emerged that theatre for development is mainly used by nongovernmental organizations for grassroots development. Nonetheless, several deficiencies at the level of practice and technique hinder theatre for development from realizing its ultimate potential. These deficiencies were mainly attributable to the inability of theatre for development practices to espouse the alienation effect. This would have otherwise enhanced the ability of theatre for development to attain conscientisation and ultimately development. This study therefore examined the use of the alienation effect by selected theatre for development troupes in Kenya. In this context, I identified and evaluated the appropriation of the Brecht‟s alienation effect by Amateur, Sanaa and House of Courage theatre troupes. I also assessed the challenges that hindered these troupes from effectively appropriating Brecht‟s alienation effect. The methodology adopted was through participant observation where I attended three performances by each troupe and observed the use of these techniques in the performances. I also carried out interviews with the performers, the audience, and theatre resource persons for a critical appraisal. The findings revealed that the three troupes appropriate some elements of the alienation effect, although some of the performances fell short of realizing the alienation effect. From my analysis of the performances and the challenges arising thereof, I make recommendations on improving the theatre for development practice in Kenya.
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