EJOTMAS: Ekpoma Journal of Theatre and Media Arts

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Deconstruction in Performance for Audience Aesthetic Preference: An Experiment with Tyrone Terrence's “A Husband's Wife”

Oluwatayo B. Isijola


Deconstruction, which allows subjective interpretation of literary texts, warrants performance text to assume a different meaning from the literary text for a change or an up-to-date signification. This article investigates African audience aesthetic preference for morality and value for human life, and it deploys deconstruction to re-order the unwholesome Euro-centric value that “A Husband's Wife” propagates. Having observed that the drama holds an unresolved 'Medean-impulse', the study engaged a sample audience in the different performances of the drama for two consecutive days: day one performance was approached according to the dramatist's prototype, while the day two performance drew on the deconstruction of plot, style and characterization, to repose the unresolved factor, which rebates its aesthetic essence. The investigation combines the quantitative and qualitative methods for data capture and analysis, and thus deduced that the audience aesthetic preference was in favour of the day two performance. Hinging on the theory of deconstruction, the paper recommends that all such African plays bestowed with the shortcomings of African aesthetics, should be subjected to appropriate 'deconstruction' in the interest of drawing on audience preference for increased patronage and the development of theatre in Nigeria, while contributing to the enhancement of wholesome moral values.

Keywords: African aesthetic preference, 'Medean-impulse,' Performance deconstruction

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