Toward a Populist Nigerian Theatre: The Plays of Femi Osofisan

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3 Scopus citations


Though his work is as yet less familiar in Europe and the USA than that of Wole Soyinka. Femi Osofisan, while acknowledging a discipleship to his predecessor, is more concerned with specific social issues than with universalized themes, and is pre-eminent among contemporary Nigerian playwrights in combining a radical perspective with a recognition of the importance of cultural traditions. In this article, Sandra L. Richards explores his work in terms of the way that its social analysis elicits an active response from its audiences, through the reshaping of recognizable forms - ‘whodunits without solutions’ - while accepting the often-limited resources of theatre machinery and personnel on which most of his directors will be able to call. Sandra L. Richards spent two years in Nigeria as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Benin, and is presently Assistant Professor of Drama and Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University, California. An earlier version of the present article was presented at the annual African Literature Association conference held at Michigan State University in 1986.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-288
Number of pages9
JournalNew Theatre Quarterly
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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