Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
21st century receptions of classical greek theatre in Africa.
See my areas of research interest.
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Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
The growing number of ethnic conflicts in communities in the South West and other parts of Nigeria have contributed to a rising lack of sustainable development. Previous research on the theatre as a tool for sustainable development has relied on the use of Theatre for Development (TFD), to help members of target community to pursue the goals of self-development and an improved quality of life. However, practitioners of TFD have not addressed issues of ethnic conflict within a community as a potential key to sustainable development. In response to the dramatic rise of this kind of conflict in Nigeria, this thesis explores the potential for addressing ethnic conflicts through the integration of Conflict Resolution Theatre (CRT) and Theatre for Development (TFD). Building from Epskamp Kees' (2006) learner-oriented and message-centered approach to TFD, DeVito Joseph's (1989) model for conflict resolution, and data collected from interviews form TFD practices in South West Nigeria, the research proposes a model for approaching ethnic conflict resolution in communities in Nigeria and elsewhere. The research applies the use of scripted plays, using the case study of Osofisan’s Women of Owu, and Image Theatre (Boal 2002) to create community-based awareness of the reality behind a crisis, and provides a pathway for ongoing work in the afflicted communities that moves towards a collective community-based resolution of the conflict.
Peter Sellars’ reperformances of the plays belonging to the ancient Geek canon have always been controversial. Ηis radical choices regarding the performance elements, affected by and directly referencing the sociopolitical context of the time when they were staged, provide important evidence for both understanding the afterlife of classical texts on the modern stage, but also the development of Sellars as a director. More specifically, in the productions of Sophocles’ Ajax (1986), Aeschylus’ Persians (1993) and Euripides’ Children of Herakles (2003), Sellars explores how the ancient Greek tragedies can be staged in such a way as to open channels of communication and how the theatrical space can become an arena of debate, in hopes of creating an active audience, similar to that of fifth century BC Athens, where societal issues could be discussed through performative means. Drawing on reception and performance theories, reviews of the performances, interviews with Sellars and an overview of the sociopolitical context of when the three tragedies were staged, both in antiquity and the contemporary world, this thesis will explore these productions through different methodological lenses, arguing that by applying multiple methodologies we can better understand the productions and their audience reception, as well as the larger theatrical and cultural context in which they were produced. By exploring Sellars’ directorial choices, I will argue that it is not simply about how ancient plays are being reused and restaged, but also what information they can provide us regarding significant trends in contemporary American theatre during the last two decades of the twentieth century.