Theatre and Leadership Crises: The Niger Delta in Perspective

Theatre and Leadership Crises: The Niger Delta in Perspective

Hussaini Umaru Tsaku
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7615-0.ch001
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One major crisis that has hit this country in the face for a long time is the Niger Delta crisis. The environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, poverty, unemployment, among others have become recurrent decimals and issues of serious concern to scholars, organizations, interest groups, and spirited individuals over the years. These issues have led to the emergence of violent crises with their attendant consequences on human life and the environment. Hence, the chapter focuses on the Niger Delta crises. It tries to analyze the socio-political and economic problems that have characterized the region over the years. It discusses the challenges and paradoxes of leadership in Nigeria's democratic space and how they have contributed negatively in fueling the crisis in the Niger Delta region of the country.
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The word theatre emanates from the Greek word theatron, meaning “a seeing place”. Barranger, (1986) posits that “it is a place where something is seen, something is done and action is witnessed”. At one time or another, during the history of western culture, this place for seeing has been a primitive dancing circle, a Greek Amphi Theatre, a Church, an Elizabethan platform stage, an arena, a garage, a street etc. Today, it may be a broad way theatre, a university play house, a night club among others. The use of space to imitate human experience for an audience to see makes that space special. In seeking to describe its origins, one must rely primarily on speculations since there is little concrete evidence on which to draw. But the most widely accepted theory championed by Anthropologists in the late 19th and early 18th centuries envisions theatre as emerging out of myths and rituals.

Today, the word theatre is often used to describe buildings or arena for dramatic performances. It is a composite artistic process. It consists of live actors performing in real time before live audiences. It is a medium of artistic expression where an aspect of human experience is mirrored in a dynamic form. It is a medium that expresses a world view of ideology and gives us a sense of life. In this medium, the production and reproduction of real life is evident through dramatization (Wilson, 1998). Theatre ultimately is valued today because of its capacity to improve the quality of life by increasing sensitivity, sharpening perceptions, reshaping values so that moral and societal concerns take precedence. Theatre focuses on human beings, it concentrates on human concerns. Though, different human concerns have been emphasized in different ways. It is one area where the pre-occupation of men and women are still the core. In other word, human beings remain the centre of the theatrical performances. In it, we see human beings in action, what they do and why they do it. For it to happen, two groups of people-actors and audience must come together at a certain time and in a certain place. When people are gathered together in this way, some kind of activities must take place. The experience is entertaining, provocative, imitative and magical (Wilson, 1998).

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