Ikoon en Medium: die toneelpop, masker en akteurmanipuleerder in Afrika-performances
Thesis (DPhil (Drama)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
This study aims to describe the puppet, mask and actor as icons or mediums in performance in Africa. The types of performances that will be discussed are religious performances, as well as liminal and hybrid performances. It is in the cases where the mask and puppet are used in religious performances, such as rituals, that the iconic characteristics or values are added to the mediumship of the object. In such cases, these objects do not represent concepts/thoughts/persons/spirits; they are these things in the space of the ritual. Matters pertaining to representation and acting are discussed, since iconic representation does not allow for acting from the performer. The actor can function with, or independently, as an icon, while all these performance elements can function as mediums in a performance using acting or role-play. These different concepts are then applied by discussing the term performance. The different elements of a performance and its characteristics – such as the use of time, space, objects, productivity and rule of a performance – are explained. The creation of a performance through the use of restored behaviour as well as the possible results of a performance in the sense of transportation and transformation as temporary or permanent changes in the performers or audience members is then addressed in the discussion. Different performance genres such as rituals and social drama will be used to describe the function of the mask, puppet and actor in liminal and liminoid performances, and to show how these different performance objects function as icons and/or mediums in these genres. Hybrid forms of performance that cannot be classified as purely liminal or liminoid performances are also studied, since these types of performances are often found in contemporary performances in Africa. The production Tall Horse is used to apply performance theory to see how the different performance objects function in changed context in a hybrid performance.