The Athenian Sun in an African Sky

Modern African Adaptations of Classical Greek Tragedy

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About the Book

Western literature has become more influential in Africa since the independence of many of that continent’s countries in the early 1960s. In particular, Greek tragedy has grown as model and inspiration for African theatre artists. This work begins with a discussion of the affinity that modern-day African playwrights have for ancient Greek tragedy and the factors that determine their choice of classical texts and topics. The study concentrates on how African playwrights transplant the dramatic action and narrative of the Greek texts by rewriting both the performance codes and the cultural context.
The methods by which African playwrights have adapted Greek tragedy and the ways in which the plays satisfy the prevailing principles of both cultures are examined. The plays are The Bacchae of Euripides by Wole Soyinka, Song of a Goat by J.P. Clark, The Gods Are Not to Blame by Ola Rotimi, Guy Butler’s Demea, Efua Sutherland’s Edufa, Orestes by Athol Fugard, The Song of Jacob Zulu by Tug Yourgrau, Femi Osofisan’s Tegonni, Edward Kamau Brathwaite’s Odale’s Choice, The Island by Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona, and Sylvain Bemba’s Black Wedding Candles for Blessed Antigone.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., is a professional actor and director whose previous books have covered topics ranging from Star Wars to Renaissance faires. He is a professor and chair of the theater department at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1093-4
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“outstanding”—Choice; “an important contribution…impressive and valuable…stimulating and accessibly written”—Text & Presentation.