EDR3410EN - Folk and Classical Theatre

Course description

Western-style theatre can be found in almost every major city in the world. However, many countries have their own long-established forms of theatre, rooted in their cultural history and traditions. These forms are examined through video, performance, readings and discussion. Possibilities for use in Christian communication, development work, and other applications are explored.

How this course benefits students

Students develop an understanding and working knowledge of the various types of drama found in non-Western cultures. This gives them excellent tools for using appropriate drama forms in community development, entertainment, as well as a platform for culturally-appropriate discipleship.

Why this course is important

Many mission groups take mimes and Western-style dramas with them when they go to another culture. Although there can be good response to these forms, it is nonetheless important to learn the “drama language” of a culture in order to communicate most effectively. Dramas performed in the folk and classical theatre forms remove stigma from the message and allow audiences to listen and learn from a form that is their own.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Julisa Rowe, Senior Professor of Ethnodramatology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

God is a God of creativity as seen throughout the Bible. Scripture uses story and other creative means to reveal God’s truth. The Biblical view of the value of identity is core to this class, as God calls for all nations to gather before His throne. As Paul states, “I have become all things to all people, so that by all possible means, I might save some.” (1 Cor. 9:22)

Missionally driven

In order to be effective in missional living and work, we need to understand that culture in which we live and work. This includes the forms we use to communicate Christ with those around us. This course encourages the use of indigenous drama forms to bring the gospel of Christ to people around the world at a deep core level, in a creative, dramatic language that speaks to the heart of a culture.

Contextually informed

It is necessary to understand the culture and its artistic forms and languages in order to effectively contextualize the message of Christ when using drama as the tool of communication.

Interculturally focused

Students gain a culturally-based perspective where indigenous folk and classical forms of drama are understood and practiced. Students conduct analyses of these forms and develop performances and adaptations through coursework, research and development.

Practically minded

This course gives students the practical tools and insights that they need to utilize indigenous drama forms and create new scripts for missional purposes.

Experientially transformed

Theatre is inherently experiential. Studying and watching dramas from different cultures, and creating scenes in different styles help students appreciate and apply cultural expressions of theatrical performance in their local churches and missional assignments.