This is the first study to be entirely devoted to African literary drama in French, a major component of African theater. Beginning with a detailed analysis of its relationship to a variety of precolonial, but sometimes still contemporary, traditions of performance that constitute part of its roots, the author examines this drama in both its literary and theatrical dimensions. He discusses its development, themes and techniques up to and including contemporary theater. The book is divided into two sections: Part One offers a theoretical and historical background; Part Two analyzes key individual plays central to the repertoire, including two from the Caribbean. All quotations are translated into English.
"...contributes much needed scholarship in the field of African theatre and guides us provocatively through the complex relationship between the traditional roots of African theatre and modern West African drama written in French...sheds interesting light on an outstanding corpus of plays dealing with Africa's historical past...essential to students, researchers, and enthusiasts of African and Caribbean studies, and required reading for anyone embarking on a study of African drama and theatre." Essays in Theatre "John Conteh-Morgan's book deserves an enthusiastic welcome for filling an intellectual void...the author's style is eminently clear, readable, and free from jargon. Most importantly, because of its thoroughness and its enthusiastic tone, the book ably fulfills its main purpose; any specialist or general reader remotely interested in African theatre will almost certainly be moved to seek out and read the primary texts. Conteh-Morgan has done a valuable service in furnishing both a general background to Francophone theatre and drama and describing some specific landmarks of this undeservedly familiar field...the book makes a solid and unique contribution to the scholarship of world drama." Theatre Survey "Conteh-Morgan's discussion of contemporary popular or folk drama is particulalry acute and useful. He brings to a reading audience an appreciation for unscripted drama which employs local allusions in African languages, spontaneous audience involvement in stage actions, and the dramatic presentation of current community concerns." World Literature Today "...provid[es] a broad understanding of the work of many major African playwrights, and of the influences that shaped the meaning of those works." Kenneth W. Harrow, African Arts "Without any doubt, Theatre and Drama in Francophone Africa is a substantial contribution to the field. The book is not only comprehensive in scope but also marks a shift in the critical approach to the genre." Lifongo Vetinde, Comparative Drama