From Drama Script to Film Medium: A Hypothetical Conversion of Femi Osofisan’s Morountodun into Motion Picture
Dept of Theatre and Media Arts
Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria
A drama script or a play text is not the same thing as a drama that is acted either through the audio or audio-visual medium. In other words, a drama script that is meant to be staged is not yet a performance until it is actually produced on stage or performed using any of the media outlets of Radio, Television or Film/Video. This paper examines how the drama script which is usually written for stage production can equally be aesthetically re-produced through the audio-visual medium better known as the screen or movie. The paper also postulates on how most Nigerian playwrights/dramatists, who are based in the academia, have refused over the years to embrace the film medium or attempted to transform their works into the film format. The film or screen format has the comparative advantage of garnering greater publicity and profitability in favour of these dramatists, but their apathy and disrespect for the motion picture industry in Nigeria have ironically undermined their own gains and opportunities as creative writers. This paper notes particularly the dramatic and aesthetic qualities in Femi Osofisan’s Morountodun, which, if creatively and technically transformed into the film format, have the capacity of raising a huge popular audience. The paper also notes the playwright’s treatment of issues of social-cultural and historical significance; one of which is symbolised by the protagonist, Titubi; whose personal and selfless sacrifice eventually prevents her (African) Yoruba race from external invasion. While dwelling on the theory of heroism and the myth of individual commitment to societal course, the paper concludes that Morountodun remains a cultural product that if well projected and popularised through the film medium, can further transform and preserve certain positive aspects of culture among majority of the Nigerian (African) people.
Keywords: Drama Script, Film Medium, Performance, Cultural Product and Popular Audience