NANTAP, Touchstone partner for Akete Theatre Festival
National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Lagos Chapter, in collaboration with Touchstone Limited, has concluded plans to hold Akete Theatre Festival in December. It has as theme ‘Lagos: Past, Present and Future’ and would serve as part of efforts to encourage live theatre performances, grow theatre practitioners and inspire new playwrights to focus on Nigerian history, especially Lagos State.
While addressing journalists recently, Chairman, NANTAP, Lagos Chapter, Makinde Adeniran, said the festival was open to new and old playwrights to submit new and unpublished plays to the jury that will decide the winning plays that attract various cash prizes. He noted that all the plays must be in English language, Lagos-centred and could come from any playwright, irrespective of tribe or state of domicile.
According to Adeniran, “Akete is unapologetically a Lagos-centric yearly theatre festival, both in thought and concept. It is unrepentantly so for a number of reasons: Lagos State is a unique state with her unique cultural identity from which her buzzes draw its strength. Lagos is a cosmopolitan state that does more of receiving other cultural activities, either for commercial reasons or for mere showcase, and these activities are gradually being mistaken, as the identity of Lagos State. Hence, our resolve to tap into her true contemporary culture through different forms of the arts for both local and exportable exhibitions.
“Akete… The Theatre Festival flags off a play writing competition geared at raising the next Wole Soyinkas, Rasheed Gbadamosis and the likes. The competition would raise a new breed of playwrights that would take over the baton of excellence from great patriots that have etched their names in halls of fame of great literary works.
“For any writer to be involved, he or she must buy into the spirit and essence of Lagos, past, present and future. The competition seeks to unearth a fresh body of literary works that celebrate the vibrancy of Lagos. Clearly, this new body of works will enrich Nigerian literary vault, aside the attendant economic and social imperatives concomitant to it.”
While speaking on the gains of the festival to Lagos State, Adeniran observed that the arts and culture sector could boost internally generated revenue if the infrastructure is set right, noting that it was from this observation that the Lagos State governor, two years ago, disclosed that he would be diversifying the economy of the state toward the development of arts, culture and tourism sector.
“The touristy value of the festival to Lagos State is unquantifiable,” he said, “which is why it has been designed to end with a seven-day run of potpourri of theatrical displays at the proposed festival site in December. Through these days, music, food, dance, fashion, arts among others, will be on display aside the five world-class drama and dance pieces that will be drawn from both the play writing competition and the Board of Directors’ decisions.”
The winner of the competition will go home with N5 million cash prize, while the second and third positions get N2.5 million and N1million respectively. Prospective competitors can submit their works online at: www.akete.ng.
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