The term can be used as a noun or as a verb.
As a noun
Broadly speaking, in South African usage, the noun can either refer to a general human activity (as in childrens' play) or to a more specific item in the theatre. Here again it can have two meanings, referring either to the playtext, as written by the playwright (published or unpublished) only, or more inclusively to the staged version of the text (i.e. the theatrical event as a whole).
As a verb
As a verb play may also be used in the two arenas, as in "to play a game" or to "play a recording"; or more specifically in theatre "to play a role", i.e. to interpret a role on stage.
Theories of play, role play and the societal role of theatre and drama
The meeting point of play as social activity, the psychological notion of role-playing (sometimes called play-acting in theatre) has led to numerous interdisciplinary psychological and sociological theories, methodologies and activities over the years, from the early work by Jacob Moreno to the theories of Augusto Boal.
In theatre training and practice these theories are often invoked for Applied Theatre, Theatre in Education, Drama in Education and Theatre for Development purposes, and have become increasingly important and widely spread in South Africa since the mid 1970s.
For more information see for example
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