Drama in South Africa and tropes of postcoloniality

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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)
Title of host publicationWomen, Politics and Performance in South African Theatre Today-3
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781135293536
ISBN (Print)9789057550072
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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