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Lighting-based stage-screen intersection performances as panacea for economic recovery in Nigeria

Ofora Emeka


Lighting design as practiced in today’s theatre, started as illumination of communal events; organised and financed by the community, state, churches or  wealthy citizens. Initially, attendance was mandatory and cost free to citizens and members. However, financial patronage was withdrawn from the  theatre by these benevolent donors in the sixteenth century when Elizabeth 1 of England prohibited the theatre from staging plays with religious and  political themes. Thus, the theatre was forced to become a commercial enterprise and theatre blossomed once more. However, economic recessions have  combined with other factors to cause drastic reductions in gate-takings and the live theatre dwindled again especially in Nigeria. Therefore, the aim  of this study is to revive public live performance once more through lighting-based stagescreen intersection performances. Thus, the researcher’s  objectives include evolving lighting-based stage-screen intersection performances that will make live performances attractive to the audience amidst  strong competition from the electronic media. To assess the potentials of the lighting-based stage-screen intersection performances as panacea for  economic recovery, the experimental interview and impact analysis approaches of mixed method of research are used. The researcher experimented the  lighting-based stage-screen intersection performances at the Mbari Cultural Centre, Owerri. The research findings reveal that today, most Nigerian  audiences are unwilling to patronising theatre events, unless they are sure of the quality. There is need therefore to save the theatre from the present as  well as future economic hazards through lighting-based stage-screen intersection performances. This approach can pave way for new ideas to be  accommodated in stage lighting performances. Hence, the paper concluded that the adoption of this new lighting approach will not only help to  entertain the audience well, but will also help to blend with the electronic postmodern performance culture. 

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eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562