Catholic Centredness in Selected Plays Presented at Kenya National Catholic Drama and Music Festivals, 2015
Kinyua, Charles M.
MetadataShow full item record
The Kenya National Catholic Youth Drama and Music festival is an annual festival whose idea was mooted in the year 2000 by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is an event whose theme is derived from the Pope's message to the youth and then customized to fit the Kenyan situation. The main purpose of this event is to motivate the young people into the work of evangelization using their creativity. Cognizant of the fact that young people are the majority in every congregation, the Catholic Church has put in place a number of media to evangelize them. Evangelization by the young people by use of theatre reaches out to where the young people are, both physically and in their life situation, and offers a genuine response to their yearnings. Evangelization provides opportunities and conversations that deepen young people’s relationship with God, encouraging them to live as disciples and discover Christ’s invitation to full sacramental relationship with Him. Young People are to be encouraged and assisted to use many and varied creative means, drama and music inclusive, always seeking to build a bridge between the ancient faith and the contemporary world, between the tabernacle and the street, between cathedrals and theatre halls. This is the objective of the Catholic Church in establishing the Kenya Catholic Drama and Music Festivals. However, the question that needs to be answered is this; how does the Festival achieve this purpose? Are the items in the festival Catholic-centred? This is a qualitative research that used content analysis of the data that was gathered through observation, viewership and close reading of the performances and the performance texts of three (3) plays that were presented during the 2015 edition of the Kenya National Catholic Drama and Music festivals held in Embu diocese in December 2015. This study was based on theatre performance theory as propounded by Richard Schechner and supported by Eli Rozik as well as religious theatre theory as propounded by Kevin Wetmore. From a Performance Theory standpoint, this study examined; how the performance-texts made meaning in respect to the issue of Catholic centredness within the parameters of the Catholic Church. And using the religious theatre theory, it sought to interrogate how the plays were faithful to the Catholic way of evangelization. The study hopes to contribute useful and valuable knowledge in the area of theatre and the church in Kenya and elsewhere. Such knowledge will be valuable because little in-depth study has been carried out in this area either in Kenya or elsewhere.