Drama in South Africa and tropes of postcoloniality

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this essay, Nigerian playwright and director Awam Amkpa, who has for years taught Community Drama in England, explores what he calls the 'tropes of postcoloniality' expressed in South African drama, and in academic approaches to South African and African drama more generally. Amkpa's essay is strengthened by his rigorously defined and problematized multiple perspective: as a black African teaching in a predominantly white European context; as a theatre maker teaching textual practice and theory in a university setting; as a speaker of several languages whose 'professional' language for purposes of teaching must be English; and an 'outsider' to South African culture, still more 'in' than most of us who teach about 'postcolonial theatres' in the West. Amkpa's essay follows on provocatively from the essays by Picardie and Walder in Part 2 of this volume, in that it takes ideas about language, empowerment, and disempowerment through the voice put forward in those authors' two very different critical modes, and reviews the very notion of 'postcoloniality' from a critical, multiple perspective. It follows on intriguingly from Pietersen's account of the Grahamstown Festival, in so far as Amkpa points to discrepancies on a large national and continental scale, mirroring in larger terms the signs which Pietersen found in microcosm - the signs of change in contemporary (South) African theatre.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Theatre Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • African Cultures
  • Apartheid (and after)
  • Critical Theory
  • Cross-cultural Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Hegemony
  • Imperialism
  • Language as Issue
  • Music
  • Performance
  • Politics
  • Popular Culture
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Resistance
  • South African Theatre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of 'Drama in South Africa and tropes of postcoloniality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this