Ola Rotimi African Playwrights English Literature Essay Free Essay

He grew up amidst the humanistic disciplines larning four of the three hundred linguistic communications spoken in Nigeria, every bit good as English, the official linguistic communication. Olas female parent who excelled in traditional dance, managed her ain dance group from 1945 to 1949. His male parent who frequently wrote and recited verse forms, organized the community theatre in Port Harcourt where his boy, Ola, grew up. Olas uncle, Chief Robert Dede, the lead performing artist in a traditional dance company and his terpsichoreans, dressed in luxuriant costumes, danced, American ginseng, and acted in what was one of the most dramatic of such companies, more frequently called masks, in Rivers State.

Ola foremost appeared on phase when he was merely four old ages of age in 1942 in a drama directed and produced by his male parent. He lived, from so on, on the phase, across the universe, with staunchness, devotedness, committedness and zest believing in the power of theater to redeeming and transforming a society socially and spiritually. Some of his plants got broadcast on Nigerian wireless and published in institutional magazines.

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Bing among three Nigerians awarded scholarships to analyze theatre abroad, Ola Rotimi, traveled to the United States in 1959. He studied at Boston University from where he earned a B.A. in all right humanistic disciplines in 1963 and attended the Yale School of Drama, majoring in playwrighting on a Rockefeller Fellowship deriving an M.F.A. in 1966.

Rotimi was besides active in the African Students Union at Boston University, functioning as its president, and actively prosecuting in protests against colonialism and in favour of African patriotism.

Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again his outstanding comedy about African political relations written in America, with a actual Afro-american character in 1965, had roots in Rotimi ‘s ain domestic state of affairs in New Haven where he had late married Hazel Mae Gaudreau, a ( white ) Gallic Canadian pupil at Yale with whom he bore four kids: Enitan, Oruene ( girl ) , Biodun, Kole therefore doing the jobs inherent in a cross-cultural matrimony expressed in facets of the drama. Born in Kenya, Liza has lived much of her life in the United States, which has shaped her universe position when she met Lejoka-Brown in Congo. At Yale the drama directed by Jack Landau won the Student Play of the Year Award for 1966.

Cultural diverseness was a repeating subject in Rotimi ‘s dramas as he frequently examined Nigeria ‘s history and cultural traditions. His first dramas To Stir the God of Iron ( produced 1963 ) was staged at the drama school of Boston University. His really popular production in 1968 of his version of Sophocles ‘ tragic drama Oedipus Rex, The Supreme beings Are Not to Blame ( published 1971 ) in inventive poetry retells the narrative of Oedipus the King to turn to modern-day African and the universe issues whilst doing ample usage of traditional Yoruba Proverbs and idiomatic looks translated to English. The drama explores the interplay between the Greek and the Yoruba traditions, as Sophocles explores the tragic destiny of a adult male destined by the Gods to kill his male parent and get married his female parent. In Grecian mythology, whatever the Gods decree must come to go through whereas in the African mythology explored by Rotimi, ways exist through entreaties to the Gods to debar such horrifying experiences.

His ulterior play include some of the most celebrated classics on the Nigerian phase ; Cast the first Stone ( 1966 ) Kurunmi and the Prodigal ( produced 1969 ; published as Kurunmi, 1971 ) , written for the 2nd Ife Festival of Arts ; Ovonramwen Nogbaisi ( produced 1971 ; published 1974 ) , about the last swayer of the Benin imperium ; Keeping Talks ( 1979 ) , If: A Calamity of the Ruled ( 1979 ) ( 1983 ) , Hopes of the Living Dead ( 1988 ) , which premiered at the University of Port Harcourt and was a common drama in the OAU Drama section, the wireless drama Everyone His/Her Own Problem which was broadcast in 1987 and When the Criminals Become Judges ( 1995 )

His dramatic plants have been performed in Europe and Africa and are being studied in European and American universities in African surveies plans every bit good as throughout Africa. He has besides published short narratives, critical articles on African theatre every bit good as a book on African Dramatic Literature: To Be or to Become which was published in 1991. He has on two occasions benefited from a committee by the British Broadcasting Corporation to compose for its abroad broadcast.

Upon returning to Nigeria in 1966, he taught at the Universities of Ife ( now Obafemi Awolowo University ) and Port Harcourt. The political conditions in Nigeria, made him pass much of the 1990s in the Caribbean and the United States, where from 1995 to 1997 he was the Hubert H. Humphrey Visiting Professor of International Studies and Dramatic Arts and Dance at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has besides been sing professor, dramatist, and manager in Germany and Italy, every bit good as at DePauw and Wabash Universities. In 2000 he returned to Obafemi Awolowo University where he lectured till his death, his married woman, Hazel, holding died earlier in May 2000.

He brought the school theater at University of Port Harcourt to such great highs that when he left, his grade of excellence in its Theatre Arts section continued, with the school bring forthing aspiring and budding immature stars in the films industry in Nigeria. Rotimi has taken many plants straight to the people with the University of Ife Theatre, a repertory company executing plants in Yoruba, Nigerian pidgin, and English.

Rotimi spent the 2nd half of his last originative decennary make overing two of his amusing dramas: Man talk, Woman talk, and Tororo, Tororo, Roro a drama of the Absurd he produced as a convocation drama. Both were likely meant to be epilogues to both his full theatrical and amusing callings.

Man talk, Woman talk doing usage of dry temper seeks an even-handed declaration of the prejudices work forces and adult females nurse about one another which affect their common co-existence in a tribunal devoid of the usual trifles of tribunal suites such as legal slangs, but awash with wit, statements, counter statements and the show of a great trade of humor by the vernal and idealistic rivals in a university environment. It was his last production staged at the Gallic Institute in Lagos,

Tororo, Tororo, Roro is about a opportunity meeting of Tunji Oginni and Philomena James both running Hotel Kilimanjaro with different motivations arousing lessons as both portion each other ‘s jobs in a version of ‘Nigerian English.

These societal sarcasms, yet unpublished at the clip of his decease in 2002, have now been published under the rubric, The Epilogue.

Rotimi ‘s bantam size belies the giant that he is in play in Africa whose positions have shaped the development of the theatre at that place. He is a innovator of the theater in English, most particularly for the span he created between the popular Yoruba and English theaters. He has made African history fused with unwritten history come alive as portion of our lives every bit much as he has demonstrated the power of play to determine the thought of the society and to work out some of the jobs encountered in mundane life.

He is featured in assorted reputable international mention plants such as: the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encyclopedia of World Authors, Cambridge Guide to World Theater, and the International Authors and Writers Who ‘s Who.

Further Reading:

Perfformio Volume 1, Number 1 a”‚ Summer 2009 a”‚ pp5-14 ISSN 1758-1524

‘A Rotimi in the Sun ‘ : Lothringen Hansberry, Ola Rotimi and the Connections of African Diasporan Theatre


1 Kevin

hypertext transfer protocol: //perfformio.org/Documents/A % 20Rotimi % 20in % 20the % 20Sun.pdf

Ola Rotimi ‘s African Theatre: The Development of an Autochthonal Aesthetic ( Edwin Mellen Press ) , Hardcover ( 2005 )

by Niyi Coker

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.thisdayonline.com/archive/2002/09/03/20020903art02.html

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.facebook.com/group.php? gid=26424594409

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.olarotimifoundation.org/biography.html

hypertext transfer protocol: //234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/ArtsandCulture/TheatreDance/5603000-147/story.csp

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