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An Evil Meal of Evil is a play about greed and its consequences. Set in the traditional African village of 'Ntisong', the play exposes the complexities of unravelling the issue of Death. Sunyin, the young wife of Dohbani epitomizes what is wrong with coerced marriages. A group of blood thirsty vampires popularly known in the village as members of 'Nda Saah' superstitiously kill targeted individuals purposely to enrich themselves. Sunyin, the protagonist in the play suffers from a premature widowhood simply because her father Njukebim forced her into marrying Dohbani. As the play unravels with the culprit of 'Nda Saah' brought to justice, questions still linger about the fate of 'Ntisong'. This play examines the advantages and disadvantages of 'black art' mysticism in Africa.
The Empire Theatre of Varieties and the Licensing Controversy of 1894
In the London summer of 1894, members of the National Vigilance Society, led by the well-known social reformer Laura Ormiston Chant, confronted the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Leicester Square, and its brilliant manager George Edwardes as he applied for a routine license renewal. On grounds that the Empire's promenade was the nightly resort of prostitutes, that the costumes in the theatre's ballets were grossly indecent, and that the moral health of the nation was imperiled, Chant demanded that the London County Council either deny the theatre its license or require radical changes in the Empire's entertainment and clientele before granting renewal. The resulting license restriction and the tremendous public controversy that ensued raised important issues--social, cultural, intellectual, and moral--still pertinent today.Fantasies of Empire is the first book to recount in full the story of the Empire licensing controversy in all its captivating detail. Contemporaneous accounts are interwoven with Donohue's identification and analysis of the larger issues raised: What the controversy reveals about contemporary sexual and social relations, what light it sheds on opposing views regarding the place of art and entertainment in modern society, and what it says about the pervasive effect of British imperialism on society's behavior in the later years of Queen Victoria's reign. Donohue connects the controversy to one of the most interesting developments in the history of modern theatre, the simultaneous emergence of a more sophisticated, varied, and moneyed audience and a municipal government insistent on its right to control and regulate that audience's social and cultural character and even its moral behavior.Rich in illustrations and entertainingly written, Fantasies of Empire will appeal to theatre, dance, and social historians and to students of popular entertainment, the Victorian period, urban studies, gender studies, leisure studies, and the social history of architecture.
Best known as a novelist, George Sand (1804–1876) was also arguably the most successful woman dramatist in history. More than twenty of her plays were staged in major Paris theaters to widespread popular and critical acclaim. Translated here for the first time into English are her two most famous full-length comedies, The Marquis de Villemer and Françoise, as well as her three major one-act plays, The Paving Stone, The Japanese Lily, and A Good Deed Is Never Wasted. Noted for their lively characterization, sparkling dialogue, and deft constructions, her plays reflect the passion and generosity of her own character, as well as a quick-witted sense of humor. The translations are preceded by an introduction outlining Sand’s theatrical career, the main themes and characteristics of her plays, and critical appraisals from her own generation to the present day. The translations are followed by notes and a bibliography.
A Cantonese Opera by Tong Dik Sang
THE FLOWER PRINCESS (Dae Neui Fa or Din?hua in Mandarin) has become the most renowned Cantonese Opera since its 1957 premier in Hong Kong. The opera is a serious political drama played out between the Han and non-Han following the fall of the Ming dynasty, and the plot pits romantic love against the lofty Confucian ideals of social hierarchy and moral rectitude. This is the first complete English translation of the opera, featuring text, song titles, speech types, and choreographic and stage setting. It also contains a foreword by Pak Suet Sin (Bai Xuexian), the celebrated Cantonese Opera actress who created the role of the Princess in the original production.
This is a touching play that interrogates certain traditional mores by revisiting the archetypal themes of love, deceit, and regret. It depicts a society in which people do not have the right to express themselves and their emotions. The play is a tragedy that ends with some cleansing of a land ruined by greed and individualism.
Hannah Arendt, the Two Adornos, and Walter Benjamin
Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno were intellectual giants of the first half of the twentieth century. The drama Foreplay explores their deeply human and psychologically intriguing private lives, focusing on professional and personal jealousies, the mutual dislike of Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt, the association between Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille, and the border between erotica and pornography.
[Re]claiming Performance Space in Kenya
Getting Heard: (Re)claiming Performance Space is the third in a series of publications on art, culture and society released by Twaweza Communications. The aim is to bring to the fore conversations taking place in Kenya about identity, creativity, nationalism and the generation of knowledge. The series is also about the pursuit of freedom through arts, media and culture. In Getting Heard the performance space is shown to offer wider possibilities for knowledge creation. It shows that in post-colonial Africa political leaders have consistently performed over their subjects at local and national levels. There is discussion of: Kenya National Theatre, Story Telling, Radio Theatre, Translation, African Languages, Music, Media and Mungiki This volume opens a window to our understanding of post-colonial Africa through performances.
Ghana's Concert Party Theatre
Catherine M. Cole
An engaging history of Ghana's enormously popular concert party theatre.
"... succeeds in conveying the exciting and fascinating character of the concert party genre, as well as showing clearly how this material can be used to rethink a number of contemporary theoretical themes and issues." -- Karin Barber
Under colonial rule, the first concert party practitioners brought their comic variety shows to audiences throughout what was then the British Gold Coast colony. As social and political circumstances shifted through the colonial period and early years of Ghanaian independence, concert party actors demonstrated a remarkable responsiveness to changing social roles and volatile political situations as they continued to stage this extremely popular form of entertainment. Drawing on her participation as an actress in concert party performances, oral histories of performers, and archival research, Catherine M. Cole traces the history and development of Ghana's concert party tradition. She shows how concert parties combined an eclectic array of cultural influences, adapting characters and songs from American movies, popular British ballads, and local story-telling traditions into a spirited blend of comedy and social commentary. Actors in blackface, inspired by Al Jolson, and female impersonators dramatized the aspirations, experiences, and frustrations of their audiences. Cole's extensive and lively look into Ghana's concert party provides a unique perspective on the complex experience of British colonial domination, the postcolonial quest for national identity, and the dynamic processes of cultural appropriation and social change. This book will be essential reading for scholars and students of African performance, theatre, and popular culture.
Catherine M. Cole is Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published numerous articles on African theatre and has collaborated with filmmaker Kwame Braun on "passing girl; riverside," a video essay on the ethical dilemmas of visual anthropology.
256 pages, 26 b&w photos, 3 maps, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4, notes, bibl., index
cloth 0-253-33845-X $49.95 L /