Ritual Frames and Liminal Dramaturgy
This chapter examines different ritualization strategies incorporated in syncretic theatres. One method of ritualizing the theatre is to adopt existing ritual forms and adapt them so as to alter the entire performance frame. The relationship between theatre and ritual in post-colonial societies is uniquely manifested in the Maori theatre, which attempted to ritualize the overall frame of the entire theatrical performance. This chapter also explains how indigenous ritual forms can be incorporated into a Western liminal dramaturgical frame through the analysis of the ritual dramas of Wole Soyinka. It also examines the phenomenon of possession in terms of both its dramaturgical functions and its performance aesthetics. Possession is a striking feature of African-American religious celebration and is particularly important in West African and in Caribbean syncretic cults such as voodoo, kumina, shango, and pocomania.
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