Contact Us
Report: Matty Jobe on her Theatre for Development project
Home » News  »  Report: Matty Jobe on her Theatre for Development project
Report: Matty Jobe on her Theatre for Development project

I recently returned from Germany were I underwent a ten weeks theatre fellowship. I was among 17 other fellows from different parts of the world. Fellows are talented and motivated young adults aged 18 to 28 from around the world, with diverse backgrounds regarding their education, culture, social strata, religion and life experience who want to tackle an issue in their society. 

The project is divided into two phase. The challenge phase which was ten weeks in Germany and during this phase, fellows go through the stages of focus, plan and act, learning how to take a project from idea to implementation. 

The challenge phase in Germany is to be followed by the ten months implementation phase in the fellows’ home countries. 

For my implementation phase, I chose to conduct training in the area of theatre with the project, Theatre for Development.  Acting is one of the art works that is completely dying out in the rural areas, because of the lack of infrastructure and trained personnel for production. 

Theatre for Development is a development practice that aims to use theatrical performance as a participatory tool to help individuals and groups share their experiences with the intent of social transformation. It offers a practical and theoretical exploration of the ways in which the arts can be used by communities to create social transformation on their own terms. 

Training will be conducted in the form of a master class or training of trainers (TOT) session that will bring together participants from the five administrative regions and two municipalities of The Gambia. Five (5) participants will be selected from each of the regions and the two municipalities. These trainees will in turn become regional trainers who will transfer their skills to newly formed theatre groups in their localities. 

At the end of the TOT sessions, participants are expected to return to their regions/municipalities, and mobilize interested community members to evolve productions that will be based on their local experiences and concerns. 

The process of developing theatre productions that are relevant to their communities will provide opportunity for reflection and dialogue on issues of community concern, as well as serve to interrogate government policies which affect their geographical areas. 

At the end of the regional training sessions, the various regions will be invited to showcase their productions in a grand finale/festival which will be organized on a competitive basis, and prizes will be awarded to winning teams. 

It is expected that the process will stir the formation of permanent theatre groups/practitioners in each region, who will be able to manage their own affairs and use theatre as a means for generating funds, employment and sustaining their activities. 

After this period, they will be invited again to the Kanifing Municipality where a three day theatre festival will take place. 

The project will be launched with a grand fundraising with prominent Gambian artists among them will be Gee, T small, Killa Ace, Mighty Joe, The Gees, Poetic Ex, Baddibunka, Abu and Fafa,, Artenola and Melody M.


Leave a Reply