Cultural Implications and the Works of the Nigerian Playwrights: A Challenge to the Directorial Power of Western Theatre Directors on Euro-American Stage

Omololu Taiwo Abe


Every dramatic production is a breaking down of a big job into smaller parts, and the process placed under the enigmatic personality of an artistic director who aesthetically designed and reflectively supervised the collective creation of other artistes. At the top of this group of artists is the playwright whose work serves as the determinant for the other artistes’ creativity. However, the questions of effective mode of interpretations of dramatic writings have continued to be very contentious in dramatic criticism. Most of these critiques are determined by the level and nature of dramatic representation projected by the playwright and sometimes imposed by the director. This paper submits that most works of the Nigerian playwrights are characterised by traditions, and, a unified system of beliefs and culture which could be stumbling block to the interpretation of a Western director. It observes that the Nigerian playwright unconsciously creates limitations for foreign theatre directors in the interpretation of his work. The paper, however, concludes that although there is no absolute interpretation to a dramatic text, the diverse nature of the Nigerian culture inhibits the directorial power of Western theatre directors on the Nigerian indigenous drama. The paper however suggests that any interested Western/Asian director in the interpretation of Nigerian indigenous drama needs to study the ambience conducive to the indigenous dramatic interpretations.

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