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[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 /
A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico
Identified only in 1986, the Nahuatl Holy Week play is the earliest known dramatic script in any Native American language. In Holy Wednesday, Louise Burkhart presents side-by-side English translations of the Nahuatl play and its Spanish source. An accompanying commentary analyzes the differences between the two versions to reveal how the native author altered the Spanish text to fit his own aesthetic sensibility and the broader discursive universe of the Nahua church. A richly detailed introduction places both works and their creators within the cultural and political contexts of late sixteenth-century Mexico and Spain.
Plays for Preschoolers
Young children love to explore their world through drama—characters, dialogue, story arcs, and props are all standard elements of a child’s play. It is no surprise then that professional theatre has long been regarded as a way to support children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and creative development. Increasingly, there is an international interest in theatre for very young audiences, and the Wall Street Journal reported on a “baby boom” in American theatre, with a marked upswing in the number of stage plays being written and produced for toddlers and preschoolers.
Fueled by ongoing research into developmental psychology and theatre arts, the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) of Minneapolis presents in this book four of its newly commissioned plays for preschoolers. CTC is widely recognized as the leading theatre for young people and families in North America; it received the 2003 Tony award for regional theatre, and Time magazine rated it the number one children’s theatre in the United States. These four plays encompass a broad range of styles and subjects: Bert and Ernie, Goodnight! is a musical about Bert and Ernie’s unlikely but true friendship, written by Barry Kornhauser and based on the original songs and scripts from Sesame Street. The Biggest Little House in the Forest is a toy-theatre play about a group of diverse animals trying to share a very tiny home, adapted by Rosanna Staffa from the book by Djemma Bider. The Cat’s Journey is a dazzling shadow-puppet play with a little girl who rides on a friendly cat, written by Fabrizio Montecchi. And Victoria Stewart’s Mercy Watson to the Rescue!, adapted from the Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson series, is a comic romp featuring the inadvertent heroics of everyone’s favorite porcine wonder.
While these plays are as different as they could be, they all help young children to develop a moral compass and critical-thinking skills—while also showing them the power of the theatre to amaze, delight, and inspire.
Essays on Irish Theatrical Diaspora
For more than 150 years, Irish playwrights, beginning with Dion Boucicault, have been celebrated by American audiences. However, Irish theater as represented on the American stage is merely a sampling of the national drama, and the underlying causes of Irish dramatic success in America illuminate the cultural state of both countries at specific historical moments. Irish Theater in America is the first book devoted entirely to the long history of this transatlantic exchange. Born out of the Irish Theatrical Diaspora project, this collection brings together leading American and Irish scholars with established theater critics. The contributors explore the history of Irish theater in America, from Harrigan and Hart to the recent productions of senior Irish playwrights such as Brian Friel and younger writers such as Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson. Examining the complexity of the relationship between Irish theater and American audiences, this volume goes beyond analyses of plays to include examinations of company dynamics, tours of companies and actors, audience reception, and the production history of individual works.
Irish women dramatists have long faced an uphill challenge in getting the recognition and audience of their male counterparts. There are more female playwrights now than ever before, but they are often ignored by mainstream theatres. Kearney and Headrick strive to shift the spotlight with Irish Women Dramatists. The plays collected in this volume represent a cross-section of the excellent dramatic output of Irish women writing in the twentieth century. In addition to the scripts and biographical introductions, the anthology includes a detailed, critical, annotated essay addressing the development of the Irish theatre throughout this time period, and the place women have artistically carved out for themselves in a traditionally male-dominated theatre industry and dramatic canon. One of the few collections of plays by Irish women, this volume contextualizes the political and sociological climate in which these playwrights developed. As theatre practitioners—actors and directors—as well as scholars, Kearney and Headrick have devoted years of research to discovering and rediscovering the contributions these women have made—and continue to make—in the Irish and world theatre scenes.
This play was written as part of an evaluation of Africaís oldest and most diverse rainforest conservation initiative in the Korup area, with the aim of highlighting and sharing some lessons learnt from the creation of the Korup National Park, through a period of full activity, to when activities were considerably reduced. It is a fine blend of the results of the evaluation and some carefully developed fictional, artistic materials for the achievement of an overall dramatic effect. Ekpe Inyang gives an informed artistic touch to achieve dramatic effects, succinctly relating the story of Cameroonís first rainforest national park, Korup.
Passion, Pathos, and Entertainment
Like their Hollywood counterparts, Latin American film and TV melodramas have always been popular and highly profitable. The first of its kind, this anthology engages in a serious study of the aesthetics and cultural implications of Latin American melodramas. Written by some of the major figures in Latin American film scholarship, the studies range across seventy years of movies and television within a transnational context, focusing specifically on the period known as the "Golden Age" of melodrama, the impact of classic melodrama on later forms, and more contemporary forms of melodrama. An introductory essay examines current critical and theoretical debates on melodrama and places the essays within the context of Latin American film and media scholarship._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Luisela Alvaray, Mariana Baltar, Catherine L. Benamou, Marvin D'Lugo, Paula Felix-Didier, Andres Levinson, Gilberto Perez, Darlene J. Sadlier, Cid Vasconcelos, and Ismail Xavier.
In beautifully constructed verse, JK Bannavti's Leopard Watch tells the story of a Fon who out of greed and veiled impiety devastates the land over which he rules. The Fon, The King of Bamkov is in a perpetual state of slumber while an illusive beast drives terror into the heart of the kingdom, killing children as well as cattle. Neither the cries of the people nor pressure from the notables seems to have any effect on him. The population of the clan diminishes daily while the Fon sleeps, snores, and drools in the day, and growls, chews, and laps in the night. When finally the notables join the youth vigilante group to hunt down the beast, they come face to face with the devourer who narrowly escapes. A day later, one of the notables, Gwei, in a drunken state encounters and kills the leopard at night as he returns from the market. Amidst jubilation and in honor of Gwei the Fon collapses off his horse and dies. His carcass lies in the same state as that of the dead leopard.