Western Theatre and the Production Processes of Ọkumkpọ Masquerade Performance of Akpọha-Afikpo: A Study in Comparison

Bernard Eze Orji

Abstract


Masquerade performances transcend mere mask adornment. It involves preparations that take varying lengths of time and painstaking efforts. During the elaborate behind-the-scene pre-performance processes of mask and costume construction, musical and choreography practices, composition of new songs and tunes, making of props and floats; all participants showcase deep gestalt spirit and collaboration. Such energies are also found within the process of production in contemporary western theatre. Way beyond arguing whether masquerade performances qualify as theatre or not, this paper concerns itself with x-raying the procedures of staging Ọkumkpọ Masquerade of Akpọha, and determining how each of its segments (script consultation, audition, rehearsals, building and or hiring costumes, publicity, presentation) exhibit theatreness. The preferred tool for this enquiry is performance analysis because of its suitability for interrogating each individual aspect of a staged/live event. Interviews will also be employed as an auxiliary method for eliciting data from participants. This paper concludes that every aspect of the modern theatre directing reflects in Ọkumkpọ Masquerade theatre production processes.

 


Keywords


Masquerade, Ọkumkpọ, Western theatre Directing, Production Process, Performance.

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