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    Introduction:

    Daring to Dream The reader may have to figure out whether this book is a report, a memoir or a recommended action plan. My only apology lies in the very unique nature of the subject matter, as the raw facts in Chapter One will establish. Behind the factual history, the reader will find three undeniable dimensions that partly explain the uniqueness of the matter. First, the continental representation as a core dimension of the project; then the spotlight placed over the ill-defined performing arts of Africa; finally, the unusual responsibility placed over the shoulders of one man to deliver a rather daunting undertaking. The experiment broke new ground as it evolved, away from the mandate that usually flows from identifiable authority. Somehow, the project managed to rely upon voluntary initiatives and personal investment, quite close to the mixture of responsibility and freedom that vitally nourish theatre both the arts and enterprise. The two most reliable parameters to gauge the experiment are there to guide the reader: twenty seven years after the inception of the project, the same person could hardly be blamed for sheer personal ambition or momentary madness. But the best scientific claim lies in the crucial need factor. Is a school of performing arts capable of handling the incalculable wealth of forms and content from across sub-Saharan Africa required?
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