Right on the foor of the public presentation of the ?rst edition in Lagos, Nigeria, 2000, it became apparent that the copies of the first edition would be sold out in a short time. And it was so basically because the "starving" Nigerian "students market" had waited for too long for a resource material on the art and study of playwriting. My conviction was con?rmed by the reviewer, Nath McAbraham-Inajoh, who stated in his review that he expected the book to sell out itself in a hurry by its sheer detectability. True, in three years, the copies were exhausted.
But why didn't I think of writing a revised edition since then? I had other books I was writing. First it was my Play Production Processes, and then came Visions Towards A Mission: 'The Art of Interpretative Directing; then came Aesthetics: The Dialectics and Theatrics of Theatre and Communication, and finally, The Art of Acting: A Student-Friendly Anthology. With all these out of the way, with years of teaching the course adding fresh insights to my body of discoveries in the art of playwriting and coupled with branded pressures by my students to give them something to support the notes and tutorial contributions, I had to go back to the drawing board. Really, the need to supply missing links, beef up some segments of the ?rst edition and contribute fresh chapters to the volume, more than anything else, forced out the emergence of the revised edition.
l was excited, oh, so excited with the first edition. And the reason was obvious. It was my first pedagogical baby in the world of publishing. Nothing could be compared with that. But I have also had strong reasons to be excited, very excited, with the revised edition. It has given me the opportunity to re-address certain areas of the work with mature verve. I have also had the great moment of answering some questions that my playwriting students, from Diploma to Ph.D., have often, repeatedly asked. My excitement also came in tonnes through the opportunity of having the hook published in the United States of America. The international status now accorded the book, does generate excitement in another level altogether. Lest I should forget, whereas I was confident that the first edition would be received, l could not anticipate the nature of criticisms that would pour in, on the work that sometimes made my heart pump with trepidation. But in this edition, there is no occasion for such at all. It is like one had cut one's teeth, after all, and the feeling is relaxed and comfortable. So, here is the Revised Edition of Playwriting: The Fundamentals.
Structurally, a couple of changes have been made in the contents. Whereas the Original edition had short but crisp chapters, the additional chapters in the revised edition, are longer. Crisp they are also, but longer. Years of accumulation of knowledge and facts. Experience in scholarly presentation ofmaterials, among others, allowed for the differentials in volume. The original edition, they were twelve (12) chapters in all. Professor Dapo Adelugba commenting on the chapters in his "Foreword", described them as "well formulated chapters (in which the reader is exposed to all the details and mode ofthe techniques and styles of playwriting . . ." However, despite such a positive appraisal, therevised edition has not only added fresh chapters to the work, but also has combined about six chapters to have three-as the ideas could synchronize and ?ow together within the new packages. The newly added chapters include Chapter One - Theoretical Foundations, Chapter Seven - The Aesthetics of the Script (actually a culled out chapter from my book Aesthetics: The Dialectics and Theatrics of Theatre and Communication), Chapter Ten - Ten Must-Answer Question On Playwriting and Chapter Twelve Write That Play (also culled out From the Journal Tsebo, my article on playwriting) Write That Play is an interesting recap of most of the points earlier raised. The chapter acts as a beautiful summary of the key points with a pungent emphasis to the reader to WRITE (Wright). The old chapter One and Three are combined, Five and Six are combined and Eight and Nine are combined. In all, instead of twelve chapters that the original edition had, the revised edition now comes with thirteen chapters.
One of the most satisfying jobs done to the revised edition, is the provision of a strong foundation on theories-scholarly positions held on writing over the years. These now make the book stand on a very firm foundation. The chapter on questions answered also gives delight to the work and the author as it Feels like a huge debt owed the students over the years has at last been redeemed.
You are welcome to the Revised Edition of Playwriting: The Fundamentals where as the title suggests and indeed defends, you are going to come to terms with the fundamentals of playwriting. The essence here, is not to know these fundamentals and talk about them. That will be good. But better than that, the essence is to WRITE that play at last, having been exposed to all it takes to make plays. Again, welcome aboard.Effiong Johnson Ph.D.
Title Playwriting - The Fundamentals
Author/Year: Johnson, E. E. (2000)
Publisher:Concepts Publications Limited, Lagos.
Number of Pages: 130
Prof. Johnson's Playwriting: The Fundamentals is a Well
researched work written in a pellucid but accessible style
which will recommend it to a wide variety of readers, specialists
and non-specialists alike. It is a boon to students of playwriting
and to aspiring playwrights because it does what its title
says: it teaches the fundamentals of playwriting.
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