Aestheticism in visual symbols: catalysts for theatre patronage in contemporary play production
Theatre practice in Nigeria like the world over is in a state of constant flux due to the ever emerging new trends. New concepts, styles, forms are continuously on demand as a result of the insatiable human tastes in performance and coupled with a civilization in which technological advancement and human creativity are not left out in its wake. The emergence of the social media has come to add more pressure on the live theatre from where the film medium stopped. Nigerian theatre patrons and sponsors have little or nothing to do again at the theatre at least, not with mobile phones such as i-phones, i-pads, tabs, blackberry and android, serving as forms of entertainment on the go. Therefore, wooing and keeping the live theatre audience will take extra energy and this can only be achieved if the visual appeal trend is revolutionized with a quantum deployment of visual aesthetics. The beauty of play production is ensconced in visual symbolism since theatre communication makes use of two of the human senses principally – the visual and the aural. These senses are in the main, complementary and supportive, its functions are numerous to the point that a theatre performance will be close to being meaningless without their application
– be it in its superfluity, moderateness or aesthetically immoderate. This article, therefore, articulates those visual symbols required by a director and his or her production team to capture and sustain his or her audience in a theatre. Having employed a qualitative research approach, the paper established that visual symbols such as lighting, scenery, costume, sound, and makeup are ready tools at the disposal of the director in achieving the visual aesthetics of a theatre production so as to keep his or her audience and continuously enjoy their patronage.
Keywords: Aesthetics, Visual Symbols, Contemporary Theatre Production, Theatre Director