Expanding Freire’s Notion of Holistic Conversion for Applied Theatre Practitioners
Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed has had a telling impact on critical discourse over time. The influence of this pedagogy is so gripping that it has extended beyond its domiciled field of education. One of such fields is theatre in its applied form which is the focus of this research. This paper investigates the process of conversion of the applied theatre practitioner as it proposes a discourse that describes a critical process designed to help man arrive at an optimal state of humanization. A major problem encountered in Freire’s critical pedagogy is the application of its knotty tenets to real life situations. Observations have revealed that the treatment of critical pedagogy has been largely theoretical within educational institutions and also in theatre for development practice and scholarship. This work narrows the problem down to Freire’s notion of holistic conversion of the development agent (or the applied theatre practitioner) as a necessary transformation that needs to take place before social efficacy can be attained. The non-attainment of holistic conversion on the part of the practitioner therefore creates a gap between the theory and its praxis. It is on this premise that this paper reviews Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed with the searchlight focused on the pertinent issues that impinge on the holistic conversion of practitioners. The approach is descriptive as it provides insight on the need, requirements and evidence of wholesale transformation of the practitioner. At the end, the paper proposes extended homestead approach as a major step towards to achieving a holistic conversion of the practitioner thereby bridging the gap between the discourse and its praxis.