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  4. Theatre at the Front Line

Theatre at the Front Line



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Last broadcast on Sun, 2 May 2010, 21:30 on BBC Radio 3.


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In many places where there has been conflict in the world, such as the destructive violence of civil war, theatre workers - writers, directors, and actors - are using the potential of theatre to help people work through their grief, anger, and suffering. With the release offered by the theatrical experience, damaged communities are encouraged to regenerate. By exploring and reviving cultural roots - stories, songs and music - they re-establish connections with a traditional way of life.

The BBC World reporter Zeinab Badawi visits Khartoum for this Sunday Feature to meet some of those dedicated to this task. People like Ali Mahdi, director of the National Theatre in Khartoum and an active member of the International Theatre Institute, who has established a Centre for Theatre in Conflict Zones. Each year he runs a festival which brings together some of those groups working in distant parts of Sudan, and Zeinab Badawi meets these groups at the Festival and hears their stories about how they attempt to help those communities in which they work.

Many of the groups have been influenced by the theories of Augusto Boal, who pioneered theatre which works within victimised communities. The people, or the audience, become a part of the action and play out their experiences, reaching a kind of resolution from which they can rebuild. Zeinab Badawi talks to Thomas Engel and Alexander Stilmark, who have brought Boal's theories to the people of the Sudan, as well as to other Sudanese and international figures.


  1. Sun 2 May 2010

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