Issues in the use of costume and its relationship to skin diseases in the Nigerian theatre
This article focuses on the fundamental issues in the use of costumes and its relationship to skin diseases in the Nigerian theatre. It examines skin diseases that can be contracted through the use of contaminated costumes which can bring infections to the human skin. In the Nigerian theatre, like other theatre traditions across the world, it an accepted norm to use costume and keep it for future uses. It is in view of this that the issues of costume management take the central stage in this study. The paper is built on multi-disciplinary of Environmental Medicine Theory (EMT) which highlights environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It underscores the prevention of diseases and health supportive interactions between human beings and the environment. Adopting the historical-analytic and participantobservation methods, the paper explores the possible solutions that can protect actors/actresses from contracting contagious diseases through the usage of costumes for performances. In doing this, the article advises on how the transmission of skin diseases in Nigerian theatre can be checked by the costumier in charge of costumes through treating costumes with utmost care by washing all the costumes after use in order to make them safe for subsequent users. The conclusion reached is that proper attention should be given to costumes in the area of management; this will preserve the life span of the fabrics and a health assurance to actor’s skin. The study also recommends that medical trainings should be organized for screen or stage costumiers and students of theatre and media arts to know the risk involved in the use of costumes for performances and possible ways that actors can avoid contracting skin diseases as they use costumes with others from time to time.
Keywords: Nigerian theatre, Costume, Environmental medicine theory, Skin disease