A CRITICAL STUDY OF THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR ADDRESSING STUDENTS’ ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN TWO NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

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Department of Arts

Theatrical performance is one of the tools deployed to address social issues in Nigeria. However, the trend in the university today shows that the university community is not fully benefitting from the efficacy of theatrical performances to address anti-social behaviours among students. Thus, this study was designed to enhance the deployment of theatrical performance as an instrument for addressinganti-social behaviours among students in Ahmadu Bello University and the University of Jos with the following objectives: to investigate the deployment of theatrical performance in addressing anti-social behaviours in Ahmadu Bello University and University of Jos; to determine the extent of students‟ awareness that theatrical performancesare capable of bringing about behaviour change; to investigate the extent to which theatrical performance was deployed in address anti-social behaviours in the selected institutions; to examine factors that militate against the deployment of theatrical performances in addressing anti-social behaviours among students. Relevance Theory, propounded by Paul Grice and Critical Pedagogy of Education, propounded by Paulo Freire formed the Theoretical Frameworks in the study. The study used survey research design which included quantitative and qualitative research methods and also deployed simple random sampling to draw population sample comprising undergraduate students and staff of the two universities under study. Instruments of data collection included Questionnaire, Key Informant Interview and Observation. From the data analysed, it was established that theatrical performances were occasionally enactedduring orientation programmes and special events as measures to discourage students from involving themselves in anti-social behaviours. Thus, the use of theatrical performance was grossly inadequate to address anti-social behaviours such as cultism, examination malpractice, drug addiction and obscene dressing, which are still in existence on campuses. The study recommends that the Department of Theatre and Performing Arts Ahmadu Bello University, Theatre and Media Studies, University of Jos, theatre arts departments in other schools and performing groups should find a way of using theatrical performances to address anti-social behaviours. Also,frequent collaborations with other agencies and departments in both universities under study could bring about more harmonized programmes for effectiveness. In addition, the university authorities should fund theatricalperformancesregularly in order to informand conscientize students on the need to refrain from anti-social behaviours.

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