Jean-Pierre Guingané[Jean-Pierre Daogo Guingané]
BirthGarango, Boulgou [Upper Volta] (1947)
DeathOuagadougou, Burkina Faso (2011)
Playwright, theatre director, actor, theatre historian, teacher, literary critic, puppet festival founder from Burkina Faso. Jean-Pierre Guingané completed his secondary education in Bobo-Dioulasso and attended the School for Teachers in Ouagadougou (1966-1969). As a child, like others of his generation who were of the Bissa ethnic group, he built and manipulated his own toys and at secondary school made puppets out of papier-mâché guided by his French language teacher, Ms Grésillon. He earned a BA from the Centre for Higher Education (CE-SUP, 1969-1972) in Modern Language and Contemporary Literature and studied in France at the University of Bordeaux III where he earned an MA in 1973 and later a PhD in 1977, writing on theatre and cultural development in Africa with a focus on Burkina Faso.
He became a teacher at the Municipal High School of Ouagadougou where he founded in 1975 one of his country’s foremost theatre groups, Le Théâtre de la Fraternité (Theatre of Brotherhood), housed at the Gambidi Cultural Centre. He worked as a playwright and director in the context of the group. The work of this company addresses social issues, such as women’s rights, HIV/AIDS and its impact, and other issues.
Jean-Pierre Guingané taught at the University of Ouagadougou as a lecturer in theatre and literature where he later headed the Department of Modern Language and Contemporary Literature and served as a dean of the Faculty of Languages, Literature, Arts, and Social and Human Sciences (FLASHS). He was General Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Ministère des Enseignements Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique) and held a variety of other offices.
Recognizing the affinity of Burkinabe culture with puppetry, he expanded the theatre festival which he founded, naming it Festival International de Théâtre et de Marionnettes de Ouagadougou (FITMO, International Festival of Theatre and Puppetry) held in Ouagadougou from 1992, in the process putting puppetry on an equal footing with theatre. In his directing and writing he incorporated puppetry alongside the human actor and worked toward developing puppetry in an African context.
His involvement with professional associations includes his experience as a founding member and President of the Union of Drama Groups of Ouagadougou (UNEDO), a founding member and Secretary General of the Society for the Union and Solidarity of Writers (MUSE). Jean-Pierre Guingané served as Coordinator General of the Network of African Theatre Festivals (REFAT), and was instrumental in connecting Africa with the world theatre community during his tenure as President of the African Regional Bureau of the International Theatre Institute and serving on its executive committee. He worked with numerous international theatres including the French Opera in Paris.
(See Burkina Faso.)