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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the aesthetic paradigm of total theater that seeks to integrate theater, music, dance, and other creative artistic modes into its practices in African performance techniques. African theater comprises distinct and varied practices, conventions, and aesthetic trends—all of which are as dynamic, diverse, and unique as the people who produce and consume them. What distinguishes African total theater from similar global practices is the region’s unique historical experiences, which necessitate the origins and perpetuation of an integrative aesthetic paradigm. Using examples drawn from both contemporary and classical African plays, this chapter also explores the forces and conditions that shape and perpetuate total theater aesthetics and practices in various sociopolitical, historical, and geographical contexts. Thus, besides examining the idealistic, philosophical, and aesthetic trends that have shaped total theater in Africa, the chapter also analyzes the expectations, conventions, and traditions associated with the practice.

Keywords: African total theater, African aesthetics, African plays, global practices, aesthetic trends, tradition

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