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 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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
This study is meant to educate beginners on Ukalas’ technique. It will expose the technique he used in his play Iredi War.
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.
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.
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.