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PROJECT CODE: 000323

TECHNIQUES OF PLAY WRITING: A STUDY OF SAM UKALA’S IREDI WAR

BY

OSIEGBU SANDRA

DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ABRAKA

JULY, 2016

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Certification……………………………..…………………………………………....iii
Dedication………………..………………………………………………………..….iv
Acknowledgements…………..………..………………………………………….…...v
Table of Contents………………………………………………………………...........vi
Abstract……………………………..…………………………..…………………...viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study....................................................................................... 1
1.2 Statement of Problem ........................................................................................... 3
1.3 Significance of the Study ...................................................................................... 4
1.4 Rationale for the Study ......................................................................................... 4
1.5 Objective of the Study .......................................................................................... 4
1.6 Scope of the Study ................................................................................................ 4
1.7 Research Method .................................................................................................. 4
1.8 Limitations of the Study ....................................................................................... 4
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Technique............................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.2 Playwriting ........................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 The Author’s Biography ....................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
3.2. Interview with the Playwright ................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
3.3 Techniques Used in Iredi War .............................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS OF DATA AND PRESENTATION
4.1 The Story.............................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
4.2 Themes................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
4.3 Titles .................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
4.4 Language .............................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
4.5 Characters ............................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
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4.6 Setting .................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.


4.7 Critical Appraisal of Iredi War ............................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary .............................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
5.2 Conclusion ........................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
5.3 Recommendations ................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
WORK CITED ..................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

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ABSTRACT

This study focuses on the technique of playwriting using Iredi War as a study. Its major focus
is on the techniques of folkism, which was propounded by Sam Ukala and in which Iredi War
was written. The work is done in five chapters. Chapter one is based on introduction, chapter
two is the review of related literature, chapter three is based on the research method, using the
sociological and literary methods. Chapter four is based on data analysis and presentation while
chapter five concludes the work. This study will provide the academic insight and information
needed to reinforce the creative impetus of prospective writers. Upcoming playwrights need to
participate in the act of Folkism because, it help in opening new vistas and in promoting African
dramaturgy. Also, folklore should be taught in schools so that students will be enlightened with
their culture and tradition.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The ability to share his views with other human beings has led man into devising

various means of communication. One of such means is the art of writing plays or drama which

is generally referred to as play writing. Anigala states that:

“Playwriting is an art of creatively giving life to a character(s), real


or imaginary in a sequence of action which artistically expresses an
idea or experience in a complex yet a graphic structure" (17)

Playwriting is an aspect of literature that belongs to drama. Literature is a piece of

writing that are valued as work of arts especially novels, plays and poems. Drama originated

from the Greek word, “Dran”, (something done). Drama deals with action, it is an art piece to

be interpreted on stage before an audience. It can as well be referred to as the art of writing,

acting or producing plays, drama elicits excitement and uniqueness.

Play can be traced as far back to the ancient Greeks, those playwright like Aeschylus,

Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes wrote both comedy and tragedy and these plays stood out

and are still read today. The person who writes a play is known as a playwright, h gives creative

expression to a work of art in the form of a play; he uses his creative imagination to express an

idea, feeling or experience in the form of a play for audience appreciation. The playwright

achieve his goal through a creative integration of various dramatic component into an artistic

whole. These elements which include thought, content, form and style give his works

distinctive features in his plays.

Writing creatively in whatever genre of literature spring from the desire to be read. The

artist shapes his materials from experience into a conscious work of art, he utilises the

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techniques and forms, which evolved in the cause of history and represent the community’s

heritage.

The form of a work of art unites the creative activity of the individual with the historical

evolved culture of the community in which he lives and works. Artistic forms are undergoing

continuous change and modification. The process is determined by the climax of culture and

its changing function in the community life. Therefore, form is the key to social meaning of a

work of art.

All playwrights have their methods towards their plays. Their dramatic structure or

composition may quite differ. This is not consensus among writer as to where to begin. Some

may prefer to begin with a storyline or a plot outline. Others may choose to begin with a real

event and write the play to explain why that event occurred. Some writers begin with a

theoretical effect or an idea from a new theoretical expression, some write entirely from

personal experience while some other writers adapt a story or legend, others, a biography of a

famous person, others a play by an earlier playwright and others simply expand upon a

remembered dream.

There are various forms of documentation in playwriting, “Theatre of fact” usually

begins with a document such as the transcript of a trial or committee hearing. Other

documentary form might begin with a tape recorder and situation contrived by the playwright.

Some are compilation of materials written over the course of many years or collected from

many sources.

Writers tend to begin with whatever work for them and accord with their immediate

aim. All playwrights have their theories in their plays. It can also be their techniques in

playwriting. Sam Ukala has done well with his own innovative styles of dramaturgy known as

folkism. He defines folkism as:

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The tendency to base literary plays in the history, culture and


concerns of the folk (people in general) and to compose and perform
them in accordance with African conventions for composing and
performing the folktale” (285)

The concept of folkism hinges on the performance audience relationship, which is

derived from traditional African folktale aesthetics. The traditional African performance is a

joint performance of the story teller and the audience. It makes use of music, dance, storytelling

and mime. The plot is simple, language is familiar but imagistic. In his plays, he made use of

“law of aesthetic response”. These include:

1. The law of offering

2. The law of joint performance

3. The law of creativity, free enactment and responsibility

4. The law of the urge to judge

5. The law of protest against suspense

6. The law of the expression of the emotions

7. The law of ego projection

8. The law of closing

These laws of aesthetic response which Ukala has postulated, is an invaluable guide to

the performance of the folk play. This can be seen in the play Iredi War. Iredi War is a folk

script play that thrives on the evils of colonisation and it was constructed by the principles of

folkism. Therefore, it should be noted that this project will focus on Ukala’s techniques in play

writing with emphasis on Iredi War.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Although much has been written about Sam Ukala and his works, the same is not

applicable to this award winning play Iredi War and the techniques he used in it.

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1.3 Significance of the Study

The project hopes to address the lapses in playwriting. It will be beneficial to artists,

scholars, students and writers as it will expose Ukala’s writing techniques.

1.4 Rationale for the Study

This study will help to throw more light on Ukala’s techniques in playwriting,

especially as it concern his latest award winning play, Iredi War. This is why the project is

being done to appreciate the unique style he used in the play.

1.5 Objective of the Study

This study is meant to educate beginners on Ukalas’ technique. It will expose the

technique he used in his play Iredi War.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is strictly confined to the play, Iredi War. The literary and the

theatrical aspect of the play will be critically examined.

1.7 Research Method

In carrying out this research work, the sociological and the literary methods will be

used in order to have an accurate result. The literary method will be used in the area of literature

review, which are books while the sociological method will be used in terms of oral interview

with the playwright for a more accurate result.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researchers’ greatest challenge is finance which was not available to carry out the

research and the limited time is a challenge to the researcher.

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PROJECT CODE: 000323

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