Yoruba drama in English : interpretation and production /
J.B. Alston.
Lewiston, N.Y. : E. Mellen Press, 1989.
192 p. --
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Lewiston, N.Y. : E. Mellen Press, 1989.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-03:
As a handbook for school and community dramatic groups, this first volume in Mellen's "Studies in African Literature" series has merit: it includes, in simple language, brief biographies of five Yoruba playwrights (one of them Soyinka), discussion of themes in the works of these playwrights, and technical guidelines for theatrical production of their work. Its merit stops on this level: serious criticism and/or original analysis is absent from the text. Only in the two chapters on the four Yoruba playwrights writing in English who have followed Soyinka in time and in stature (Ola Rotimi, Kole Omotoso, Femi Euba, and Bode Somande) is there real and new insight. Alston is to be congratulated for bringing attention to these dramatists and for promoting Western productions of their works. His chapter on Soyinka is less impressive; it is neatly subjected to the demands of classroom examination and community group discussion. Although such value is not to be denied, the level of the study remains relentlessly that of an informational primer, with little descent into critical depth. One wonders why this volume was chosen to initiate the publisher's African literature series. Its extraordinary price for fewer than 100 pages of commentary, its weak bibliography, the sloppily proofread reproduction of typescript copy, grammatical errors, and infelicities of phrase are irritating elements, while the author's schoolmasterly tone (e.g., the more one knows, the better one's production of Yoruba drama) is daunting. -M. Tucker, Long Island University/C. W. Post Campus
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1990
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