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Theatre

A History of Theatre in Africa

Summary of Article by James Gibbs, 2004 / Edited by Martin Banham
Published by Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, United Kingdom)

Ghana has a national tradition of narrative drama. This includes festivals; rituals; rites of passage; children’s games; impersonations; dance; symbols and symbolic acts; tricksters and annual community gatherings. They all incorporate elements of drama and have been studied as such. Although these dramatic traditions have been preserved, they also reflect outside influences, for example Islamic, Christian, Portuguese and European influences through trade routes across the Sahara. Traditional performances and ceremonies have also been altered for the outside world to witness. In addition to this, an educated African elite emerged and helped shape the dramatic landscape. Modern influences in Ghanaian theatre including the establishment of the National Theatre, which now unifies all sorts of art and artists.