Abibigromma was established in August, 1983 at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon, as a model repertory troupe to facilitate teaching, research and experimentation. In 1991, Abibigromma was transferred to become the National Theatre Company as well as the Resident troupe of the newly-built National Theatre of Ghana.
The focus of Abibigromma now, as its name implies, is to develop “Abibigro”, a rich blend of music, dance, mime, movement and dialogue with a strong social, spiritual and folkloric base. This type of drama is different in several respects from the usual ‘straight’ drama which was very common in the 1980s. Abibigromma is very well known in many parts of the country for the high standard of their performances.
Beyond its original aesthetic mandate, Abibigromma has also had training in the practice of Theatre for Development, (TfD) and has developed numerous skits over the years. That the Company seems to have been doing more in this area within the past few years is really not deliberate; the requests keep coming in, sponsored, and therefore too tempting to turn down. More important however, is the fact that TfD gives the Company a lot of satisfaction; we have positively affected lives as our skits are able to make ordinary citizen understand even the most difficult subjects and issues they sometimes have to grapple with.
Development is usually defined as both a process and a goal of bringing about a social change in order to improve the living standards of a people. It aims at a planned change by transfer of knowledge and skills not through lectures but through non-formal education and follow-up. Since development as a process aims at bringing improvement not only in the physical and social conditions of the people, but also durable gains in the people’s ability to control and sustain the improved conditions, theatre by its nature is a powerful, natural partner, an absolute essential in pushing developmental issues through. This is our Company’s interest in the form.
On request, the company develops skits tailored to meet specific needs of a people in a community or of an organization. The aim is to raise awareness on and facilitate the search for lasting solutions to the social, economic or civic issues that militate against a community’s steady development. The solutions more often than not require attitudinal change. This, our TfD skits have been able to initiate effectively over the years.