People's theatre

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As general term

A term by activist writers and academics in the 1970’s-1980’s to refer to theatre by and for the oppressed masses (i.e. "the people"). Often an equivalent for Popular theatre or even Community Theatre.

People's theatre in South Africa

A term first used by Robert Kavanagh in the late 1970s, and then picked up by other Marxist/Socialist orented activist writers and academics during the Cultural struggle ( 1970s-1980s) to refer specifically to theatre by and for the oppressed (black) masses in South Africa (i.e. "the people"). A number of companies used the term as a name in the period.

See Robert Kavanagh. 1981. South African People's Plays. London: Heinemann; Robert Kavanagh. 1985. Theatre and Cultural Struggle in South Africa. London: Zed Books; R.Cohen. 1998. “25 years popular people's theatre”, in Cape Times, 18/9/98 p 20.

See also Political theatre, Popular theatre, Township theatre, People’s venues , etc.

Specific "People's Theatre" companies in South Africa


People's Theatre, Cape Town

People's Theatre, Johannesburg

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