African Theatre Aesthetics

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A Comparative Study of the Plays of Wole Soyinka and Femi Osofisan as Paradigms

African Theatre Aesthetics continues the enquiry into the issue of authenticity in African drama and theatre.

It examines the various parameters that have been employed by scholars and critics over the past four to five decades in the attempt to answer the question: What exactly constitutes African theatre, or African theatre aesthetics? The book boldly navigates the murky waters of heterogeneity that complicates the identity claims of so called African theatre, and manages to conclude with what might be termed a consensus position on the manifestations of Africanness in the African theatre.

The employment of the works of two Nigerian dramatists, Wole Soyinka and Femi Osofisan, as exemplars of the quintessential African theatrical forms in this book is potentially contentious, since so many other playwrights and indeed hundreds of theatre troupes and groups from different parts of Africa may equally and validly lay claim to strong representative values within the context.

However, the book does make a strong case for the singularity of these two giants in the dramatic fields of Africa, which also accounts for their celebrity status in discussions of contemporary African theatre.

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