‘Folkism’ and The Search for A Relevant Nigerian Literary Theatre: Sam Ukala’s The Placenta of Death and Akpakaland as Paradigms



The period 1940 to 2011 portrayed Nigeria’s literary theatre as being largely irrelevant to its audience, due to the compositional lapses of many English play texts and their stage productions. These loopholes mainly comprise inappropriate and alienating aesthetics of subject matter and language of the texts. Dating from the post-colonial era in 1960s, writers sought to correct these anomalies through decolonizing dramaturgical options and the employment of aesthetic elements that could relate to the African psychological, socio-cultural, political and historical realities. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these developments still ran short of fully authoritative and genuinely indigenous Nigerian performance idioms that would have accorded full relevance to the literary theatre. Currently, various theoretical propositions and alternative dramaturgical techniques have emerged as avenues for realizing full relevance, one of which is Sam Ukala’s theory and practice of ‘Folkism’. In this paper, Folkism is discussed with a view to demonstrating its potentials for ensuring the full relevance of Nigeria’s literary theatre.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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