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Anita is a playwright, educator, writer, radio presenter and narrative practitioner interested in creating stories from history and real-life events. Formerly a university lecturer in the social sciences, she now focuses her energies on making theatre and audio drama. Her work as a playwright has shaped her overall commitment to education in the classroom and beyond.

In these video sessions, Dr Anita Franklin will explore the role played by folktales, proverbs, music, poetry and storytelling. We will also study how these elements of traditional theatre have been formed, preserved and even transformed over the course of centuries and over a geography which takes in 54 countries of the continent as well as the other regions of the diaspora.

As an art form which uses music, dance, design, and literature for the purpose of telling stories, theatre remains a very special vehicle for learning about the arts. Theatre is also a good place to start when helping young people and adults contemplate hard questions about society, including ethics, family and communal relationships, the lessons of history and their parallels to issues of current importance.

'Stories create community, says writer Peter Forbes, stories enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others.’

Ben Okri tells us, ‘Story telling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is no imperfection, there is no story to tell’.

Both quotes point to the educational importance of stories and by extension theatre. These materials are designed as online lessons which can be used in schools, colleges, and universities. They can also be used in home and/or supplemental schooling.

Some key plays are also highlighted.

Film 1: Geography
Film 2: Proverbs
Film 3: Storytelling
Film 4: Griots
Film 5: Wole Soyinka
Film 6: Anowa
Film 7: Winsome Pinnock
Film 8: High Table
Film 9: Here's What She Said to Me
Film 10: Iyalode of Eti