The Development of Yoruba Opera
Strehl, Daniel Jon
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This paper is about the development of an indigenous theatrical form in West Africa. Although we know from anthropologists of a long tradition of dramatic activity, it has only been examined in this light and through its connection with religious ritual. Of the contemporary theatre, even less is known, and the material in this area usually deals with literary theatre. Yoruba Opera is an indigenous professional theatre which has developed from two traditions. These are the long standing masquerade tradition of the Yoruba, and the century old tradition of European theatre in Nigeria. It is a popular theatre, one of the people, which bears little relation to the better known university theatre. The research for this paper was carried out at the School of Drama, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, during the first three months of 1970.