(1) As general theatrical/political term it refers to all kinds of theatre utilized to protest political and economic inequities and social ills.
(2) In a more specific and local sense this is widely used as a blanket term to refer to theatre used to protest against and call for defiance of and changes to the Apartheid-state. It usually includes a wide variety of forms and approaches, from rather ambiguous political plays and plays of testimony to highly militant plays of the Agit-prop kind, aimed at inciting revolt and action.
(3) In the 1990’s Zakes Mda distinguished what he called “protest theatre” (theatre which shows the oppressor the results of his oppression, to tickle his conscience) from "theatre for resistance" (which overtly aims to mobilise the oppressed).
(4) However, the term is normally used interchangeably with terms such as Agit-prop, Political theatre, Theatre of defiance, Theatre of determination, Theatre for resistance, Theatre of testimony (Testimonial theatre), Theatre as weapon, Alternative theatre and more
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