Trickster Theatre (Paperback)

The Poetics of Freedom in Urban Africa (African Expressive Cultures)

By Jesse Weaver Shipley

Indiana University Press, 9780253016539, 308pp.

Publication Date: June 22, 2015

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (6/22/2015)

List Price: 35.00*
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Trickster Theatre traces the changing social significance of national theatre in Ghana from its rise as an idealistic state project from the time of independence to its reinvention in recent electronic, market-oriented genres. Jesse Weaver Shipley presents portraits of many key figures in Ghanaian theatre and examines how Akan trickster tales were adapted as the basis of a modern national theatre. This performance style tied Accra's evolving urban identity to rural origins and to Pan-African liberation politics. Contradictions emerge, however, when the ideal Ghanaian citizen is a mythic hustler who stands at the crossroads between personal desires and collective obligations. Shipley examines the interplay between on-stage action and off-stage events to show how trickster theatre shapes an evolving urban world.

About the Author

Jesse Weaver Shipley is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College. He is author of Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music and has produced a documentary film with the same title.