Museums as living theatre in Nigeria

Segun Oyeleke Oyewo


There is a strong need to evolve programmes to address the general misconception about museum as a repository of dead cultural materials to establish that it is not a fossil of a dead civilization. The theatre has been used and still has great potential to, not only make museum a living arts relevant to modern reality, but also to evolve from it a functional/applied theatre form.


This paper explores this within the context of modern museum of antiquity viz-a-viz total theatre nature of African festival, which is itself a complete living museum experience. It addresses these using the some Museums and traditional festivals in Nigeria. In this ambiance, the museum theatre is defined in view of the traditional as well as the contemporary museum experiences, which are inextricably linked.


The methodology employed is the exploratory approach to serve as basis for further enquiries, materials are collected through interviews, reviews of recordings of events and the observation method while data are analysed qualitatively. We make suggestions for a new creative and participatory experimentation for the future of museum theatre that will enhance museum visits in Nigeria.


Museum, Museum Theatre, Theatre and Drama, Traditional African Festivals.

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