Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma, a Don at Theatre Arts Department, University of Abuja, said the 2016 African Theatre Association (AfTA) Conference would be hosted by the institution from July 21 to July 24.
Evwierhoma made this disclosure on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The HOD recalled that the association unanimously chose the university for the conference at the 2015 congress held at Layola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA.
According to her, the theme of the AfTA 2016 is `Paradigm Shifts in African Theatre and Performance’
The HOD explained that the conference would track the paradigm shifts in theatre theory and practice from different perspectives.
“The conference will be structured around panels, papers and performances that open up discussions on various sub themes.
“Theatre and Performance have developed along several major lines of enquiry in Africa over the last six decades from responses to the relegation and later restoration of its indigenous forms.
“This was in the wake of political independence across the continent to redefine the concepts and interpretations of theatre and performance.
“It has been redefined occasionally in order to calibrate new ideas and emerging trends within the field or as response to developments elsewhere in the world,” she said.
Evwierhoma noted that African theatre and performance had been re-contextualised and repositioned for the primary audience.
She said that it had to accommodate an ever expanding discourse of new forms, theories, and methodologies.
The HOD also observed that some of the old, new performance territories had been explored and investigated.
“Others such as Nollywood, KinaUganda and recent growth of women writers, practitioners and of political performances in West and North Africa continue to attract scholars’ interest,” she said.
She added that the conference would focus on diverse sub-themes such as, Trends in Playwriting in Africa, African Theatre, Cybernetics, Social Media and African Performance among many other themes.
Evwierhoma listed Prof. Kalu Uka, Prof. Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka and Dr Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, as the key speakers at the conference.