Who needs theatre?
An interesting evening.I liked Jade's story of working with young people who were locked in and Adam's contrasting story of children 'breaking in' to his group.The strongest strand coming through was that people need theatre- practioners need it because they enjoy it, teachers need it because it is an essential tool in learning, some participants need it because it is a possible means of livelihood and other participants find it fun.It was also clear that if not done well participatory theatre could alienate those who resented their space being taken over-those'difficult' areas. A question was asked 'Has community theatre grown up?' If it is being done better then it is no bad thing. If it is becoming staid and is used simply 'to keep them off the streets' then I hope not. The room was alive with the feeling of the need for theatre making, for playing especially in the light of the government's education policy. There was enough passion for the work to continue though practioners will have to spend a lot of energy in securing funds. and I am sure they won't serve apples from oppressive regimes!