Department Of Theatre Arts, University Of Benin, Benin City
This article is prompted by the perceived inadequacy of substantial number of child actors on the Nigerian stage. The theatre seems to have been turned completely to an all-adult-only activity because it has become increasingly difficult to see children performing even the roles conceived for their age, moral, social and physical presence. In most university theatres in Nigeria, undergraduate students who are diminutive in nature are usually cast to play roles meant for children wherever the need arises. Even in most professional theatres, plays which contain children’s roles are either totally avoided or actors with diminutive stature are cast to play children’s roles meant for child actors. As a result, children are almost entirely wiped off the Nigerian stage. It is in view of this that this study used historicocritical and direct observation methods to examine the challenges of directing the child actor in Nigeria, using IbukunFasunhan’s production of Moremi, a cultural play written by AyodeleArigbabu. The conclusion reached is that the challenges of directing child actors are caused by both natural/psychological factors and environmental/external factors. Based on this it is recommended that university theatres should adopt a more practical approach to teaching children’s theatre, anddirectors of child actors need to do some studies on child psychology and child development theories.