Revival of Cameroon Theater: Overcoming Challenges

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Theater experiences a revival in Cameroon as private and public initiatives take action to combat the decline in funding and audience attendance. Despite the challenges of practicing any artistic activity, theater across the country has its halls and its audiences.

Reviving Interest in Theater

Theater experienced its heyday with projects like the Labado Theater in the ’70s, but the decline in the frequency of performances and the decline in the number of audiences has been a challenge. One of the first obstacles faced theater arts in 1990s is the disinterest of financial partners. Actors, costumes, sets, and travel expenses in the case of a national tour – even the strongest financial partners were unable to withstand the economic downturn of the 1990s. The technical side was also frowned upon by many theater people, who questioned the training of many actors and other theater professions.

Jacobin Yarro, the Cameroonian playwright, actor, and director, emphasizes in his book Fifty Years of Theater Practice in Cameroon: 1960-2010, the situation from independence to the current revival of the art form led by a wave of young and daring playwrights. The technical side was also frowned upon by many theater people, who questioned the training of many actors and other theater professions. In spite of all the challenges, there is a re-conquest of audiences and a general revival of theater in Cameroon.

A General Revival of Theater

Private and public initiatives are aimed at reviving the theater. Despite all the challenges, audiences attended the Cameroon Cultural Center on March 27 for International Theater Day. Theatre is an inspiration to those involved in the arts, and it is hoped that this trend will continue. With continued support from both public and private sectors, theater will continue to thrive and be an important part of Cameroon’s cultural heritage.