Volume Three in this series carries on from the highly acclaimed volumes on Europe and on the Americas. Focusing on non-Arabic Africa, and with contributions from leading experts from the countries featured, the third volume of the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre series examines theatrical developments in Africa since 1945. Entries on thirty-two African countries are featured in this volume, preceded by specialist introductory essays on Anglophone Africa, Francophone Africa, History and Culture, Cosmology, Music, Dance, Theatre for Young Audiences and Puppetry. There are also special introductory general essays on African theatre written by Nobel Prize Laureate Wole Soyinka and the outstanding Congolese playwright, Sony Labou Tansi, before his untimely death in 1995. More up-to-date and more wide-ranging than any other publication, this is undoubtedly a major ground-breaking survey of contemporary African theatre.
'In this excellent encyclopedia … an impressive team of African scholars and theater profesionals has compiled a stunning country-by-country introduction to the theater of sub-Saharan Africa. Not simply an aid to research, this volume gives an exciting introduction to Africa's varied and vibrant theatrical scene, too little known in the US. Highly recommmended.' - Choice
'A number of significantly confident entries … and some whose usfulness lies not only in content but also in the fact that other works of African theatre reference have not noted them so fully. A strong feature of the volume is its illustrations … [which] contribute helpfully to the contemporary record of theatre in Africa.' - - - Martin Banham, University of Leeds
'It continues the series' excellent tradition of having each essay written by an author from the country being written about. The structure of the essays and the background information included in each make this work invaluable to anyone interested in the recent history of African theatre.' - - Reference & User Services Quarterly
'Succeeds in bringing the researcher into the political/cultural framework of performance in context and is an invaluable resource not only for scholars in the performing arts but also for cultural anthropologists, sociologists and others. A welcome addition to all serious performing arts collections.'- - Booklist
'This is a fine example of the contribution made by UNESCO to the recording and encouragement of the world's cultural heritage. The vivid reality is conveyed, accompanied by some telling photos. I recommend this very welcome volume. It deserves to be on reference library shelves … because it is such a useful backup to growing public awareness of theatre from other cultures.' - Reference Reviews
'The subject is theatre as Africans have created and experienced it. The result is indispensable for anyone interested in either African culture or in modern theatre. It is a significant achievement.' - Times Higher Education Supplement
'This encyclopedia succeeds in bringing the researcher into the political/cultural framework of performance in context and is an invaluable resource not only for scholars in the performing arts but also for cultural anthropologists, sociologists and others. A welcome addition to all serious performing arts collections. - Reference Books Bulletin
'Writers from almost every nation on earth profile native expressions of music, dance, and puppet an dramatic theater since 1945 and comment on trends in design, training, criticism, and scholarship, in six insightful, inclusive, and entertaining volumes.' New York Public Library named The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, Six-Volume Set as one of their Best of Reference selections, April 2002
General - Wole Soyinka, Anglophone Africa - Hansel Ndumbe Eyoh, Francophone Africa - Ousmane Diakhate, History/Culture - Paul Zeleza, Music - Soulimane Kole, Dance - Werewere Liking, Theatre for Young Audiences - Wolfgang Wohlert, Puppetry - Henryk Jurkowski.