Kontemporere woordkuns as teatergenre : 'n ondersoek na die aard van die vorm van die werke van enkele Stellenbosche woordkunstenaars
Thesis (MDram (Drama))—University of Stellenbosch, 2005.
Oral Art (Woordkuns) as a performing art form is a burgeoning independent theatre genre that has developed especially over the last decade with the rise of the national arts festivals. By investigating the literary term word art, the eclectic nature of oral art as a theatre genre, the oral art text and the role of the visual within an oral art performance, we are able to give a paraphrase or definition of oral art as a theatre genre. Oral art as a performing art form can firstly be defined with reference to the origins of the oral art text, namely an existing work(s) that originated as a non-dramatic literary work(s) and that is revisited within a new context; secondly a shift in the dramatic presentation from physical action to the spoken word. The eclectic nature of oral art is a further characteristic of this theatre genre. Oral art has the ability to change in form and function and not only can it be biographical or autobiographical, but it can also be socio-politically intended. The hybrid nature of oral art – oral art texts combine in many cases works from different genres – also shows many similarities with other theatre genres like cabaret and black political protest theatre. Three possible structures are identified within the oral art text, namely an episodic structure, a developing story line or argument and a compilation consisting of a number of short stories or narratives. The oral art text can be compiled from a number of literary genres and the choice of material is determined by the overarching theme and the format of the performance. Visual elements support the oration within an oral art performance. The different types of texts used in the compilation of an oral art program determine the presentation style and stage composition. Physical action is representational rather than realistic. The use of décor, props, costumes and lighting are minimal and multi-functional.