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Propaganda and Mass Education: Alec Dickson and Drama for Development in the Gold Coast

Summary of Article by James Gibbs, 1999 / Edited by Martin Banham , Femin Osofisan & Jane Plastow

Alec Dickson can be regarded as the pioneer in theatre for development in Ghana. He worked in pre-independence Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast. However, few contemporary theatre for development practitioners in Ghana, are aware of, nor do they appreciate, the pioneering work of the use of drama for community development led by Alec Dickson. He believed in the power of drama for social change and as a weapon for mass communication and community development. Dickson’s vision was realised by the production of Efua Sutherland’s play Foriwa in 1962. Foriwa dealt with community development through the use of characterisation, dialogue, and festival theatre.