Anis Pervez and Mrinmoy Samadder
Popular theatre as a communication medium has gained immense attention and is widely practiced in Bangladesh by various NGOs for raising consciousness in achieving rights and justice required for social development. Likewise, BRAC has been using popular theatre as a communication channel to disseminate development messages among the people for whom development is addressed, and felt the necessity to assess to what extent the knowledge packed by such messages is grounded into people’s cognition besides evaluating the strengths and weakness of popular theatre as practiced by BRAC.
This study presents such an assessment conducted by using a triangulation method comprising survey, focus group discussion, and case studies. The study observes that knowledge is grounded at a high moderate rate and people have no problem in identifying popular theatre as a distinct form for entertainment and communication. People at a large considers popular theatre as a means for extending education unveiling social ills while also suggesting ways out of such underdevelopment. Drama group is viewed as a change-maker. There is a need for post-performance dialogue, which is not practiced regularly.
Nevertheless, popular theatre, if properly addressed and practiced in combination with other development programs, is likely to help develop a counter discourse that is required for a sustainable social development.