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The socio-cultural interdependence of theatre and society and Nigeria’s economic recession

Stanley Ohenhen


Tracing the origin of theatre, it is a priori knowledge that theatre started after society began to exist, during the pre-historic times, a period when man  learnt to survive by making nature work for him. Man engaged then, in performative mimesis through storytelling, dance, re-enactment, music, and  drumming, for his sustenance and survival. The human society has since then, served as an indispensable platform for the theatre to thrive having been  the primary platform and source from which the theatre derives its essence, sustenance and livelihood. Conversely, the society does also have ways in  which it depends immensely on the theatre for its socio-cultural, political and economic viability and sustenance. This paper interrogates the existing  argument on the sociocultural and economic interdependence of theatre and society, and hopefully, provides a balance in the argument of which  determines the existence and sustenance of the other. Conclusions are reached in the end, on ways in which society can leverage on the creative socio-  cultural and economic dynamics of the theatre especially in ameliorating the banes of recession. Focused group discussions, case study analysis, review  of relevant literature, especially play texts, and participant observation methods were largely relied on, and data collected were subjected to content  analysis. Although usually unfairly dismissed as a mere courtesan entertainment parasite in its relationship with society, the theatre however is actually a  quintessential interdependent ally of society and do possess socio-cultural and economic potentialities that can help salvage society’s recessed economy. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562