BY EZIMA VALENTINE UKOH
From the very beginning of civilization, the theatre has helped us discover and understand ourselves and our relationship with our world, with others, and with God (or the gods.) As such, it is and always has been an affirming force in the world. Unlike any other art, the total, intense focus of theatre is on the human being, his or her existence, and his or her relationship with life. It is a part of human nature to need to examine who we are in relationship with where we are. Every human being has an artistic sense. As evidence, observe healthy young children. They dance, sing, paint or draw, and actively engage in imagination. An artist is a person who has a highly developed artistic sense, has studied and has well-developed the discipline or technique of the art, and is able to transform his or her work as cultural or universal symbol. An artist also usually attempts to make a living with his or her art, because an artist has an overwhelming need to express, and many also have an overwhelming need to give his or her work to society. The ‘artist’ in question as far as this paperwork is concerned regarding the theatre, is the playwright. Behind every success story as regards the realization of a stage performance; stands a small army of producers, designers, actors, agents, editors and directors, in particular, who play a crucial, if largely unsung, role. Mistaken identities, confusion and slap-stick antics boil to their climax. The audience stands to attention, hands clapping enthusiastically, as an adrenaline-pumped cast, bows at the curtain call. But, before these events can happen, much hard work has already occurred to get to the final product.
While performative elements are present in every society, it is customary to acknowledge a distinction between theatre as an art form and entertainment and theatrical or performative elements in other...