TECHNICAL DEFICIENCIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE UNIVERSITY PERFORMANCE SPACE
1.1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
The theatre performance space has evolved through the years, from the open air space of the Greek theatre, to the enclosed buildings of the present age. Apart from building specially meant, designed and built for use as theatre spaces, theatrical performances have, through the ages, taken place in multipurpose halls that were not specifically put up for theatrical production purposes. Such usages have been based on the primary consideration that for the theatre event to take place, there must be a space-“found or unfound”. Ebo confirms by asserting that, …“there must be a space for the actors to tell their story and space for the audience to observe the performance” (1).
Thus, as long as such ‘structures’ provides a space for performance (stage) and another for the audience (auditorium), the structure has been deemed suited for theatrical activities. However, the employment of any structure for dramatic presentations has always posed serious staging problems, especially, where such buildings were designed with no dramatic considerations and to worsen the situation, were such buildings are so rigidly foxed, leaving no room for creative adjustments to meet theatrical spatial requirements.
Laying emphasis on Ebo’s believe that there must be a space for the actors to tell their story, the technical aspect of the performance spice up by contributing significantly to the establishment of the needed space. Gillette confirms this when he says, “a great performance doesn’t simply happen, it is the product of a great deal of technical organization, teamwork, and dedication (1).
However, in a situation where the expected assistance meets the reverse of Ham’s perception that, “… a good buildings can give full rein to the creativity of those who use them and can enhance the experience of those who come to watch and listen” (9), then there arises a technical deficiency the technical designers face in applying their arts to such actor’s world (stage).
Conducting a clinical analysis of the theatrical performance stage of the Akwa Ibom State University, judging the 2014 performances using Brockett’s opinion that, “an auditorium… should be designed to insure optimum conditions for seeing and hearing” (591), this work seeks to examine the technical deficiencies in Akwa Ibom State University performance space.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Theatre today, has received wide patronage outside the conventional theatre spaces. In these unconventional spaces, there are no suitable arrangement, no appropriate sightlines, no wings, no foyer, no working space, poor acoustics, no standard control room and many other facilities available in the conventional theatre space. However, thus is not suppose to hinder the success of a performance, if well handled.
Acknowledging the need to contribute his quota to the success of a performance, the designer (this researcher) sets out to discover the technical deficiencies associated with using an “improvised” stage or better put, a multipurpose hall for a theatrical performances with a view to surmounting their deficiencies so as to provide a leeway for upcoming theatre designers to comfortably take up the task of designing for a multi-purpose hall or auditorium.
1.3 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
The search for alternative theatre space has become very pertinent in our contemporary world where theatre has been acknowledged as a viable means of information dissemination.
Also conditioned on the ground that there are limited theatrical buildings, hence to resort to multipurpose halls for stage performances, this study is justified in that, it will help theatre designers, researchers, and other theatre practitioners, as well as theatre enthusiasts, understand the challenges and to a greater extent, get them ready to surmount these challenges that enhances the technical deficiencies while mounting productions in multipurpose halls or non conventional spaces.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study concerns itself with the technical theatre deficiencies in Akwa Ibom State University performance stage using the several stage performances of the 2014 production season. These deficiencies are examined in the areas such as technical theatre definition; technical aspects of a theatrical production as well as the stage and its equipment.
Other performance stages may be mentioned for reasons of comparison and, or external argument
1.5 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Unlike other types of publications and presentations in which the determination of the number of pages or the volume and the duration of writing can be determined by the writer this research project being an academic endeavour has its limitations. One of these limitations is the specified number of chapters, pages and words. According to the Departmental style manual, “the student will normally be expected to carry out the study in five chapters, not exceeding fifty (50) pages, or 10,000-12,000 words” (34).
Furthermore, another limitation of this study is the specified time for submission which implies that the researcher should endeavour to begin and end the research exercise in a specified period thereby hindering the extent in which the researcher can go. More so, dearth subject matter of this research all constitutes limitations to this study as books on technical theatre are hard to come by in this part of the world.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE