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In view of this, the researcher, as a trained [EA2] Theatre Manager I delved into the depth of managerial skills and techniques and investigated the relevant strategies and approaches of managing a stage play with limited resources.
The relevant data were obtained via interview and library research. Based on these findings some recommendations were made and suggestions for further studies were highlighted.
This study deals with identifying those avenues in which stage play production can be managed with limited resources, and the student’s special case study was Akan, a stage play written and directed by Christian Jesse, a final year directing major. The poise of this study is to erase the perception a lot of people within and without the theatre profession have about stage play production and its management as a money-guzzling venture. The method adopted for this research is the qualitative methodology based on case study. The primary materials of this research were drawn from interviews with the play director using structured questions. Secondary materials such as the play text, textbooks, journals and periodicals were equally consulted. The study’s findings reveal that while it was needful for play directors to be financially solvent with robust budgetary enhancements, it was not a sine qua non for the success of the production. The study recommends strategies that can be adopted by beginning directors and theatre managers to achieve success in the midst of scarce resources.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Abstract/ Thesis Statement
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Scope of the Study
1.4 Research Methodology
1.5 Justification of the Study
1.6 Significance of the Study
1.7 Limitation of the Study
1.8 Organization of the Study
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Concept of Theatre Management
2.2 Sourcing for Stage Play with Limited Resources
2.3 Goals and objectives of Stage play Management
2.4 Steps in Managing a Stage Play
2.5 Essence of Stage Play Management
3.1 Synopsis of Akan
3.2 Themes in Akan; Love, Betrayal, Strength
3.3 Design Content in Akan; Costume, Make up, Scenic/Lighting Designs
3.4 Critical Survey of the Production
4.1 Challenges in Managing the Stage Play ‘Akan’
4.2 Financial Management
4.3 Publicity Management
4.4 Personnel Management
5.1 Summary of Findings
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Theatre is generally known as a place of seeing. It is derived from the Greek word ‘theâtre’ meaning to see.
It is a place where people come to watch any theatrical performance. It has its different compartments ranging from the stage, auditorium, the green room, lobby,[EA4] the box office, control room, conveniences, the parking lot, to mention but a few.
Economically, human wants are insatiable. To this end, no one has ever been satisfied by the amount of money one has. In the same vein, several directors, theatre troupe owners complains of lack of adequate resources to make their productions what they would love it to be hence confirming the saying ‘human wants are insatiable’. In as much as human wants are actually insatiable, there are certain measures one can take to use limited resources and still achieve their desired goal(s). [EA5]
In this long essay, a discourse will be done on a play titled ‘Akan’ as was directed by Christian Jesse, a student director [EA6] in the Model Theatre Studio[EA7] of the University of Uyo. Each academic session, students who have developed interest in directing over the years spent in the confines of the Department Of Theatre Art[EA8] , organize and stage approved plays[EA9] during the season of production. These student directors who would have gained knowledge of directing o[EA10] ver the years are given the opportunity to stage their first play[EA11] s in the Department.[EA12] They put in their immense effort[EA13] in order to achieve a successful production. This was the case with [EA14] Christian Jesse, one of the [EA15] student directors of the department.
During the 2018/2019 academic session, a play titled Akan was staged in the Department Of Theatre Arts University of Uyo[EA16] . The play is an epic play as was portrayed by the director’s choice of costume/makeup, scenic design and language. The director chooses to make this play an epic play based on the fact that he believes that epic attires, make up and the scene designs props are quite affordable. This is because one can easily go to villages and get them at a very cheap rate or even make them. For instance, wooden seats, bamboo, palm fronts, and sacks. The director mentioned that he spent a little amount in getting all these fixed. These factors evolve around limited resources, having its effects on financial management, publicity management, and personnel management.
With the help of the interview granted me by the director and necessary research, avenues on how to manage a stage play with limited resources shall be highlighted. Also, challenges of managing a stage play with limited resources shall be discussed.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Shallow knowledge gained on managing a play and lack of insight of organization and re-structuring has been the major reason why many people shy away from venturing into staging plays thereby living with the idea[EA17] of having to keep a huge amount of money handy before going into directing.
This mistaken ideal constitutes[EA18] a problem[EA19] militating against the successful and smooth staging of a theatre piece. These obstacles can be classified into two classes: human and material. The human obstacles are those associated with the administrative aspect of the production while the material obstacles of course constitutes the financial requirements or needs associated with the play production.[EA20]
Given the financial difficulties, the problem now becomes how to ensure a successful stage play production which automatically scare away intending directors/producers from staging plays. For this reason therefore, the method of managing a stage play with limited resources for profit maximization will be investigated in this study, with a view to identifying important ways to tackle this problem.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study strives to establish that certain strategies can be employed in the running of a stage play with limited resources especially in this economic recession era. Special focus is on a stage play entitled Akan[EA21] as was written and directed [EA22] by Christian Jesse.
To aid the effectiveness and accurate compilation of this work, the student conducted a qualitative research based on interviews with relevant artists. For example, the researcher conducted oral interviews with the playwright and director of Akan as the primary source material. The study also relied on secondary source materials such as journals and textbooks and other library resources to sustain this research.
1.5 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
Virtually little or nothing has been written about managing Akan or any other stage production within and without the University of Uyo, with limited resources. It is hoped that this study shall open a vista on the strategy for sourcing for and utilizing lean resources in play production projects, especially in an educational theatre. However, in this study, I shall approach a detailed description of managing a stage play with limited resources. Focus shall be on Akan. Attempt will also be extended to highlight the essence of stage play production management.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant in many ways. First, it would volunteer strategies which would be adopted by future directors to fund their productions. Moreover, this essay shall add to the growing body of research in the province of theatre managent, especially the management of play productions. an understanding of the methods through which a stage play can be managed effectively with limited resources and still achieve the desired result would help intending theatre managers and directors to adopt appropriate measures that will serve as guides in that direction. It would also yield solutions to seemingly intractable problems underlying managing a theatre organization as a whole.
Secondly, the finding and recommendations of this study will broaden the understanding of managers and directors of stage plays on the strategies to employ in managing stage plays with limited resources.
Lastly, the study will also serve as a source of data or reference for future and further investigations.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This project focuses on the stage play, Akan. Attention is paid only to unraveling the steps necessary for managing a stage play with limited resources. The study could not be extended to cover other plays outside Akan due to the student’s financial insolvencies.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The study is structured into five chapters. Chapter One[EA24] introduces the problem, chapter two is literature review, which deals with sourcing for stage play with limited resources. Chapter Three discusses Akan, the case study. It also discusses its themes, steps of managing a stage play and the essence of stage play management. Chapter four examines the challenges of managing Akan,[EA25] it also establishes the financial management, publicity management, personnel management and a critical survey of the production. Chapter five offers summary of findings and recommendations.
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