Betwixt and Between Theatre Arts ‘Directing Course’ in the Trajectory of Rethinking the Nigerian Identity on Screen

International Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 10 No. 1, November 2018.
ISSN: 2026 – 6286

Olympus G. Ejue

The bastardization of essential or generic characteristics of Nigerians as a people is common place in most screen dramas in present times. Part of which is due to lack or insufficient training techniques for would-be theatre practitioners whose ember for directing is most times restricted to stagecraft alone. Albeit stage and screen directing may possess prevalent distinctive sets of characteristics, however, both still differ greatly when looked at from a praxis point of view. This is especially so when one examines the dynamics and technicalities that encapsulate both media. The paper attempts to integrate stage and screen directing with the aim of elucidating the roles that a would-be theatre director could perform in a society that only the ‘fittest’ survives. We make bold to say that; it is about time our curriculum planners created and encouraged functional directing with screen bias, which will expose theatre students to the aesthetic treatment of camera strategy and manoeuvring. It is against this backdrop that we envisaged that, our graduating students would have been better equipped with skills of using stratagems to record and change audiences’/viewers perception and point of reference already created by mediocre filmmakers in Nigeria. Thus, this work is predicated on the assumption that courses like Radio, Film and Television production have apparent restrictions in providing certifiable expertise as expected for graduating students with bias for screen directing. It is against this backdrop that a would-be stage director, who is also knowledgeable in screen directing, would have placed himself/herself on a vantage pedestal, especially these days that the axiom of ‘survival of the fittest’ reigns supreme in our society. After all, “some of these filmmakers have made names for themselves on stage before making the transition to film” (Ekwuazi, 20). The auteur theory of film in which the director is considered the primary creative force grounds this study. The methodology adopted here is content analysis. The paper is, therefore, poised to encourage and propagate a more comprehensive training package for screen directing vis-á-vis stage directing as one broad-based course in the B.A. Theatre Arts Curriculum. At the same time, highlighting the prospects and advantages such a marriage would engender.

Keywords: Directing, Stage, Screen, Nigerian Identity, Rethinking

Edioms: Research and publication services

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