Publisher: University of Calabar

Theatre For Development As Research Method In A Globalised World: An Investigation Into Factors Responsible For Voter Apathy Amongst University of Calabar Students In The 2015 General Elections In Nigeria

Adie, Edward Ugbada (ph.d)
KEYWORDS: TFD, Utilitarian, Research, PLA, Voter Apathy, Method, Development


In most cases, when people are mobilized by Theatre for Development specialists/facilitators to engage in the process ofusing Theatre in a utilitarian way, the main focus is usually on what problem theatre can solve. Contrary to that thinking, TfD is a toolfor conscientizing both the core Actors and the Spec- Actors; empowering them to chart a course towards solving some of their problems through self- help. The praxis is alsofamous in evaluating the success or otherwise of development projects and perhaps help communities to restrategize when development interventions in their domain havefailed. All these
attributes andpotentials ofTfD are indubitable. However, thefirst andforemost focus ofany TfD intervention that is usually given less mention is the fact that
TfD isfundamentally, a research method. This paper therefore illustrates the utilitarian potentials of TfD as basically a research method; tracing the inceptionfrom the works ofthe Brazilian dramatist (Boal's Forum Theatre) and the Ngugi Wathiong'o's (Kamirithu Experience) and how the process works in
Nigeria today. This paper emphasizes the fact that TfD isfrom the outset, a research method before its further potentials can be appreciated. This paper
therefore narrowed down to the application of TfD; interfacing with Participatoiy Learning and Action (PLA) as research methodforfinding out the factors responsiblefor voter apathy amongst some selected Nigerian electorate through the use ofdrama and PLA asdata gathering instruments. Thefindings
from this study indicate that bad governance, failed electoral promises,stessful electoral process, insecurity, ignorance, poverty, rigging as well as some socio-cultural impediments militate against active political participation in Nigeria and creatingvoter apathy even amongst students.

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