Cameroonian playwright visits BU Tuesday

For immediate release: February 25, 2008

BLOOMSBURG — Cameroonian playwright Victor Musinga helps Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania observe Black History Month and African Heritage week with his lecture, "From Traditional to Modern Drama," on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m., in the Kehr Union, Ballroom. The talk is free and open to the public.

The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble will present a dramatic reading of Musinga's play, "The Tragedy of Mr. No Balance," followed by a performance by BU theater students of "Moka," on March 4, at 7 p.m., in Carver Hall, Kenneth Gross Auditorium.

"From Traditional to Modern Drama" will focus on the development of modern African drama from traditional forms as well as the role of theater in contemporary African societies.

Musinga, a pioneer Cameroonian playwright, started writing plays in the mid-1960s following his country’s independence from British colonial rule. His plays expose some of the challenges, such as bribery and corruption of civil servants, facing the new nation.

Today, his plays reflect the Cameroonian culture. He does not have a formal education in theatre, yet has written more than 60 plays. Musinga has been honored by the Cameroonian government for this contribution to the development of drama in his homeland.

Various campus groups will have the chance to talk with Musinga and work with him to put on his plays. BTE will have a workshop conducted by Musinga for the dramatic reading of the first play written by Musinga, "The Tragedy of Mr. No Balance." BU theatre students will also get the opportunity to work with Musinga and learn about African acting and stagecraft.

While here, Musinga will also visit the Non-Western Literature class and give a lecture "Aspects of Modern African Drama." The lecture will focus on how theater is used to promote socio-economic development and to fight HIV/AIDS.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.