A critical inquiry into the evolution of socio-political performances in traditional Nigeria Yoruba Alarinjo and contemporary itinerant theatre through a review of selected works of Hubert Ogunde, Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi and Femi Osofisan

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines the evolution of socio-political theatre and drama performances in Nigeria. The first part consists of the introduction, theory and historical contexts, while the second part discusses the contribution of selected literary dramatists to this evolution of social-political theatre and drama performance in Nigeria. The study specifically focuses on Yoruba Traditional Alarinjo (Travelling) Theatre, contemporary itinerant theatre and selected works of Hubert Ogunde, Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi and Femi Osofisan. The theoretical framework of the study is based on three concepts: the Theatrical Event expounded by Wilmar Sauter; Theatre and Festivals as Poly-Systems by Temple Hauptfleisch; and Vicki Ann Cremona’s concept of Festivalising Process. Relevant historical developments are reviewed and analysed in the study. The developments are points of reference to various forms of Yoruba theatre and drama. In addition, the study examines social-political evolutions, especially those that relate to and are useful for the analysis of the inherent evolution of theatre and drama in the Yoruba tradition Alarinjo, the contemporary theatre and the selected works of Nigerian literary dramatists. It further examines Yoruba Traditional Alarinjo (Travelling) Theatrical and dramatic performances and investigates the critical roles of the egungun (masquerades), masques, oral literature and other Yoruba cultural and traditional properties in the performances. This study concludes that the types of performance modes, styles, methods and techniques which were used during the different stages of the evolution of socio-political theatre and drama in Nigeria, are rooted in the vast Yoruba cultural and traditional forms of performing arts. These include forms such as masquerading, oral poetry, folklore or folktale, music, dance, chants, incantation and acrobatic display among others. The study recognises the contribution of the Western culture of entertainment which partly influenced the evolution of socio-political theatre and drama performances of the Yoruba contemporary itinerant theatre. Lastly, this study analyses and reveals the influence of Western education on the mentioned Nigerian Literary Dramatists’ theatre and drama.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die evolusie van sosio-politieke teater en drama in Nigerië. Die eerste deel bestaan uit ‘n inleiding, teoretiese raamwerk en historiese konteks, terwyl die tweede gedeelte die bydraes tot die ontwikkeling van sosio-politieke teater van die gekose literêre dramatiste ondersoek. Die studie fokus op die tradisionele Yoruba Alarinjo (reisende) teater, kontemporêre reisende teater en geselekteerde werke van Hubert Ogunde, Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi en Femi Osofisan. Die teoretiese raamwerk van die studie berus op drie konsepte: die Teatrale Gebeurtenis, soos uiteengesit deur Wilmar Sauter; die Teater en Feeste as Poli-sisteme van Temple Hauptfleisch; en Vicky Ann Cremona se werk oor die Verfeestelikingsproses. Die relevante historiese ontwikkelinge word in hierdie studie ondersoek en ontleed. Hierdie ontwikkelinge is verwysingspunte vir verskeie teatervorme van die Yoruba drama en teater. Die studie ondersoek die sosio-politiese ontwikkelinge, veral die aspekte wat verband hou met die evolusie van teater en drama in die tradisionele Alarinjo, die kontemporêre teater en die gekose Nigeriese literêre dramatiste. Die studie bespreek voorts die tradisionele Yoruba Alarinjo (reisende) teatrale en dramatiese performances en ondersoek die kritiese rol van die egungun (maskerades), maskerspele, orale literatuur en ander kulturele en tradisionele eienskappe van Yoruba performance. Die studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat die tipes performance-modusse, style, metodes en tegnieke wat gedurende die verskillende stadiums van die evolusie van sosio-politieke teater en drama in Nigerië gevind word, in die ryke kulturele tradisionele vorme van performance onder die Yoruba gevind word. Dit sluit onder meer maskerades, mondelinge digkuns, folklore en volksverhale, musiek, dans, inkantering en akrobatiese tentoonstellings in. Die studie erken die bydraes en invloed wat die Westerse vermaaklikheidskultuur op die sosiopolitiese teater van die kontemporêre reisende Yoruba teater se ontwikkeling gehad het. Die studie dui ontleed en bespreek die invloed wat Westerse opleiding op die Nigeriese drama en teater van die betrokke literêre dramatiste gehad het.
Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.
Socio-political theatre -- Nigeria, Itinerant theatre -- Nigeria, Yoruba Traditional Alarinjo Theatre, UCTD