Nature and sculpture in the creation of African theatre scenery
The meaning of space is defined by the images contained in that space. Creating scenery for the theatre as an indoor activity involves either the creation of imaginary forms or the replication of existing images around the creator's environment. These imported items include natural vegetation, architecture, sculpture and ornamental crafts. Beyond the creation of boxsets, representation of the external environment has featured prominently on the African stage. However, the conscious use of artistic objects like sculptural images of African gods and other handicrafts have also been quite vocal. The combination of these forms not only speaks for themselves as new artistic compositions of the designer but also for the religion, culture and occupations of their creators and people. This article discusses the role of objects of nature and the products of the allied arts in the creation of stage scenery by African theatre designers, with special reference to the Nigerian experience.
Keywords: African theatre designer, Performance spaces, Sculpture, Modern theatre scenery