Theatre (Drama & Dance)
(Origin to be filled in)
Like all other nations, the Gambia is endowed with skillful and talented youths engaged in the performing arts, either out of passion, or for gainful employment. They all aspire towards greater success and recognition so as to be able to make a living out of the industry. Theatre, drama and dance are growing by leaps and bounds in The Gambia. Recently, this form of arts has become a popular form of cultural and artistic expression and it affords youth, women groups in particular, a strong forum for the exercise of cultural right and expression. Story telling based on ancient Gambian lores and tales, riddles and local games are also enriching aspects of Gambian oral performances.
The rise in the popularity of drama could be ascribed to the advent of a national TV service and the growth in FM stations which can expose these groups to a bigger audience. In the absence of a formal school of performing arts where they can undergo structured learning on the tools of the trade, most of their productions tended to be mediocre. There is only one purpose built theatre facility called Ebunjan Theatre. Earlier the Alliance Francaise amphitheatre provided the only facility for the staging of performances. More stage shows are now taking place, with improvised casts at the Ebunjan Theatre, whilst associations like the Gambia Youth Actors Association (GAMYAA) and the Comedian Association of the Gambia (CAG) continue to frequent the stage at Alliance Francaise. A number of drama groups such as Gopp Garr, Fansung Jamanoo, Bolondala, etc… have also progressed into producing films in DVDs and drama pieces for the television.
The Department of Performing Arts works with the Gambia Association of Theatre (GAMAT).