The Aesthetics of Adapting and Directing Stage Plays for the Screen: Problems and Prospects
Abiola Olubunmi FASORANTI
School of Performing and Visual Arts
Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria
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The culture of adaptation from play scripts to film productions in Nollywood is no longer new. Over the years, adaptations have become one of the most important mediums of sourcing for stories worthy of production for Nollywood screen writers. However, the process of this adaptation is not without its challenges; it also involves series of creative processes which only the determined can embark upon and complete. This work, therefore, examines the aesthetic values of adaptation from stage script to screen script. The paper also busies itself with the study of problems, prospects, advantages and disadvantages of adaptation from a play for the stage to the play for the screen. This shall be done with the aim of proffering a feasible solution to the problems identified. Importantly, the research paper will comparatively and critically analyse Ola Rotimi's The Gods Are Not to Blame, an adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the play which serves as the material for Funke Fayoyin’s adaptation, "The Gods Are Still Not to Blame;" both texts shall serve as case studies for this work. In the same vein, the paper will appraise the productions of both stage and screen performances of the two plays under focus as directed by Rasaki Ojo Bakare and Funke Fayoyin respectively. The research concludes that both the stage and screen performances of Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not to Blame and Funke Fayoyin’s “The Gods Are Still Not to Blame” have been able to re-enact Sophocles original play – Oedipus Rex in a creative and dynamic way, without altering the storyline. The film production of the adaptation has given the play popularity even among the unlearned in Nigeria and beyond. Therefore, this researcher concludes that plays with very important messages for the people and the nation at large should be adapted for the screen for wider audience and acceptance.