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Constraints of set design in three selected educational theatres in Nigeria

Olusegun K. Abodunrin
Olufemi E. Atarase


Set design in educational theatre houses in Nigeria is an important area of theatre studies that assists the designer to interpret the play’s message  during performances to make the audience understand both the message of the play and the directorial vision. However, it has suffered serious  neglect. The neglect affects the experts and nonexperts in different areas of the theatre profession. This study takes a look at set design in Nigerian  universities with emphasis on University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and University of Abuja. A descriptive method that entails  observant participatory approach was adopted. Observations and conclusions reached were through visits to the mentioned institutions above as  well as the functionality of the set construction of plays watched. This provided the opportunity to assess the functionality of the equipment used  and the quality and value of the sets constructed. The following findings were reached: equipment was obsolete, the staff and the students relied  on improvisation and recycling during performances in most cases. Many departments of theatre arts lacked adequate set design equipment which  reduced the quality and value of their productions. The funding required to procure or acquire design equipment was a paltry sum and this also led to lack of regular training of designers. The recommendations of this study, therefore, are that play directors and set designers should have a sense  of history of their theatre structure. They should also bridge the gap between the expected and actual set design and their roles towards success in  play production. Furthermore, set designers within the academy should be sent for training regularly to enable them update knowledge in the  constantly evolving area of automated theatre design and technology. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2449-1179
print ISSN: 2006-1838