• East African theatres and performances

      Kasule, Samuel; Osita, Okagbue; University of Derby (Routledge, 2020)
      The focus of the book is primarily performance and its dialectical relationship with culture and society in East African theatre practices and traditions. A secondary interest pursued in the book is a broader exploration and articulation of the concept of performance, much in the same way that Schechner (2002: 34) proposes it to encompass a myriad of human activities that are perceived to be “restored behaviour” or “twice behaved behaviours”. The book explores the relationship between dance, dialogue, music, recitation, song, and the theatrical performance as inscribed in various indigenous concepts. It further centres on the insights into the nature of theatre and/or performance as a cultural practice and an art form, and theatre’s relationship to culture and identity. It examines indigenous performance processes and structures that include staging techniques, proxemic principles, design and its realisation, performer-spectator relationship, the non-professionalism of the different categories of performers and theatre makers in East Africa. The study takes account of the mix of representational and presentational modes of performance, aligned to predominantly non-script-based theatre practices, which sharply contrast with the often highly stylized forms of many Asian performance traditions as well as the often realistic modes of performance of some other non-African traditions. By examining both the indigenous performance forms and practices and the ways in which their work is conceptualized, developed, and staged, this study demonstrates the potential influence of African thought and aesthetics on aspects of global contemporary theatre and performance.
    • “I smoked them out”: Perspectives on the emergence of folk opera or ‘musical plays’ in Uganda.

      Kasule, Sam; University of Derby (Boydell and Brewer, 2020-11-20)
      Music is often cited as a central artistic mode in African theatre and performance practices. However, little attention has been paid to music theatre on the continent in general, and to opera in particular, with the exceptions of a few noted genres, such as Concert Party or the Yoruba "folk opera" of the 1960s, and the emerging research on opera culture in South Africa. This volume of African Theatre highlights the diversity across the continent from a variety of perspectives - including those of genre, media, and historiography. Above all, it raises questions and encourages debate: What does "opera" mean in African and African diasporic contexts? What are its practices and legacies - colonial, postcolonial and decolonial; what is its relation to the intersectionalities of race and class? How do opera and music theatre reflect, change or obscure social, political and economic realities? How are they connected to educational and cultural institutions, and non-profit organisations? And why is opera contradictorily, at various times, perceived as both "grand" and "elitist, "folk" and "quotidian", "Eurocentric" and "indigenous"? Contributors also address aesthetic transformation processes, the porousness of genre boundaries and the role of space and place, with examples ranging from Egypt to South Africa, from Uganda to West Africa and the USA. The playscript in this volume is We Take Care of Our Own by Zainabu Jallo GUEST EDITORS: Christine Matzke, Lena van der Hoven, Christopher Odhiambo & Hilde Roos Series Editors: Yvette Hutchison, Reader, Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Warwick; Chukwuma Okoye, Reader in African Theatre & Performance University of Ibadan; Jane Plastow, Professor of African Theatre, University of Leeds.