African Theatre 15: China, India & the Eastern World

November 2016
5 black and white illustrations
264 pages
21.6x14 cm
African Theatre
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC LIT013000, LIT004010, DRA005000

African Theatre 15: China, India & the Eastern World

Edited by Martin Banham, James Gibbs, Femi Osofisan

Extends the study of China's "soft power" into theatre studies and looks more widely at syncretic traditions evolving in other long-term historic exchanges between Asia and Africa.
China is the main focus of this volume, and articles consider the way it is using "soft power" in its extensive engagement with South Africa, and, through its support for theatre festivals, with Lusophone countries in Africa. China's involvement with the construction of theatres, opera houses and cultural facilities as part of its foreign aid programmes in such countries as Algeria, Cameroon, Mauritius, Ghana and Senegal, provides the background to the playscript from this volume, Blickakte (Acts of Viewing) by Daniel Schauf, Philipp Scholtysik & Jonas Alsleben, that explores Chinese impact in Somalia.
Issues also emerge around what China is "importing" culturally from Africa. In 2012, Soyinka's The Lion & the Jewel was produced there, and a season of Fugard's work was enjoyed in Beijing during 2014. During 2016 Brett Bailey's Macbeth Opera will be performed in Macao.

In recent years courses in African theatre have been started in Beijing by Biodun Jeyifo, and also taught by Femi Osofisan whose well-known Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels and Once Upon Four Robbers have been translated into Mandarin, along with Soyinka's The Lion & the Jewel. The volume also includes contributions on exchanges between other Asian countries and Africa such as articles on the production of African plays in Bangladesh and on the persistence of African performance traditions among African migrants in India. Attention is paid to the syncretic theatre traditions that have evolved wherever African and Asian populations have been in close and extended contact, as in Mauritius and Durban. Unusual exchanges and globalized theatre surfaces in the course of the volume. For example, while the Guangdong Provincial Puppet Art Theatre Group performed at the 41st Grahamstown Festival (2015), Chinese puppeteers are being trained to manipulate the War Horse for a Beijing production.

FEMI OSOFISAN Thalia Laureate of the International Association of Theatre Critics 2016

Series Editors: Martin Banham, Emeritus Professor of Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Leeds; James Gibbs, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, University of the West of England; Femi Osofisan, Professor of Drama, University of Ibadan; Jane Plastow, Professor of African Theatre, University of Leeds; Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Warwick.

Table of Contents

Introduction - James Gibbs
I AFRICA'S DISCOVERY OF CHINESE THEATRE China in Ghana: an interview with Mohammed Ben Abdallah about the National Theatre, built by the Chinese Government in Accra; introduced & annotated by James Gibbs - Awo Mana Asiedu
The Orphan of Chao: A Chinese Play at a Nigerian University, 1979 - Tony Humphries
II CHINA'S DISCOVERY OF AFRICA: TEXTS, FESTIVALS & BUILDINGS Theatre in China in 1965, with a focus on War Drums Along the Equator - an interview with Robert Bolt, with an introduction by James Gibbs - James Gibbs
The post-colonial imaginary & politics of representation in the Macao SAR: the Teatrau & the (re) emergence of 'lusofonia' under Chinese stars - Isabel Maria Da Costa Morais
China-Africa relations at the Mindelact Theatre Festival, Sao Vicente, Cabo Verde - Rita M. Rufino Valente
China meets South Africa in the theatre: some recent South African work about China & in China, & The Year of China in South Africa - Ying Cheng
A checklist of African playscripts translated into Chinese - Wang Shang
Introducing Blickakte - (Acts of Viewing): 'Do I see what I see, do I know what I know, do I hear what I hear' - Christine Matzke
Playscript: Blickakte (Acts of Viewing) based on an idea by Ahmed Jama Aden - Daniel Schauf and Philipp Scholtysik and Jonas Alsleben
III INDIAN THEATRE EXCHANGES WITH EAST & SOUTH AFRICA: HISTORICAL DIMENSIONS Indians of African descent: Sidis, Bava Gor & spiritual practices - Beheroze Shroff
Jay Pather, South African artist of Indian ancestry: Transforming society in post-apartheid South Africa through his theatre-dance works - Ketu H. Katrak
IV CONTESTED SPACES: Asian & African theatre in Mauritius: A report from the front line - Michael Walling
Hidden under a black veil in Terra Incognita: representations of Africa in Bangladesh theatre, with a checklist of African playscripts performed in Bangladesh - Syed Jamil Ahmed
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