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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Afrikanisch verfremden : Von Yoruba- und Koteba-Inszenierungen Afrikas zu Brechts Theorien des Vernunfttheaters
Defamiliarisation African-style. Relating Yoruba- and Koteba-productions to Brecht's Theory of a 'Rational Theatre'
Aspects of traditional African theater like Yoruba-plays known as Egungun or the Malian traditional theater known as Koteba have for centuries used distancing effects and epic approaches along the lines of Brecht's theory of epic theater. These forms of theatre, frequently staged in African market-places, are reminiscent of forms of street theatre as they have become known throughout Europe. In both cases, they have been re-edited in modern forms, and in relation to other theatre traditions. Some of these techniques are used by modern dramatists like Wole Soyinka who has adapted some of Brecht's plays, fusing them with African forms of satirical theatre including song and percussion instruments, masks and commentary designed to create distancing effects. This article attempts to show similarities and differences in the forms of theatre that provide the elements for this fusion.
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