Dramatic Intervention

Salihu M. Bappa parks his old blue Peugeot station wagon on a dusty street lined with low houses. Mr. Bappa, a drama lecturer at nearby Ahmadu Bello University, gets out and strides through a short alley. It opens into an earth-floored, outdoor courtyard surrounded by crumbling, one-story buildings made of mud and stucco.

Musicians are playing loud, rhythmic music on drums and a gurmi, a two-stringed, sitar-like instrument. A singer welcomes guests and chants improvised praises to