Theatre for Development (TfD) and its Significance in Rural Development

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Leila Keshavarzidindarloo


Regardless of the benefits that development has brought to some, it has largely bypassed the very people who most need a better standard of living: the masses in rural and semi-urban areas. The model of using participatory learning methods to explore the main concerns of a group and then creating a play to discuss the issues could be used in many situations. Theater for Development (TfD) is a relatively new way of using theater to enhance development in the real world. It is an art in which the Community Theater is used as a tool for mobilization, education, awareness, sensitization, and awareness of the community, all to achieve a change, either in individuals or in the community as a whole. This study aims to evaluate the relevance of theater in the concept of rural development and answer the question "What is the role of theater in the development process and how TfD can be a useful method for participatory development in the rural and semi-urban areas? "To obtain a comprehensive perception, this article goes further by explaining the TfD process and evaluating its advantages and disadvantages in the rural development process. The data used for this study is secondary data collected from previous studies using a qualitative and descriptive approach to interpret and analyze previous studies. This study argues that there is a strong link between development and theater and the latter can provide an opportunity to foster the process of development of marginalized groups in rural and semi-urban areas by creating a participatory platform that involves the local population in projects of development and make dialogue possible. However, there are some shortcomings in practice, such as fundraising or the influence of the governing systems that are the main investors that could misdirect the designated message. There are still gaps in the knowledge and practicality of the TfD method that should be overcome in the future.


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Keshavarzidindarloo, L. (2022). Theatre for Development (TfD) and its Significance in Rural Development. International Journal of Applied Arts Studies (IJAPAS), 6(4), 79-90. Retrieved from
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