World Theatre Day to take place June 26 – NANTAP

Theatre- Image source hartfordstage

Theatre- Image source hartfordstage

The Lagos state Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) on Friday announced that it would commemorate the 2015 edition of World Theatre Day on June 26.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Theatre Institute (ITI)– an arm of United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) — has declared every March 27 as WTD since 1991.

The Lagos State Chairperson, National Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Faith Eboyigbe, said the celebration was shifted because of the recently concluded national elections.

Eboyigbe disclosed this at a media briefing at the National Theatre on Friday.

“The elections that would have held in February 2015 were later moved to March 28, and it affected the planning and staging of the 2015 WTD”.

She said that this year’s theme is “Theatre and the Conflict Resolution in the 21st Century,” adding that Nigeria’s cultural values and arts needed a serious push.

She told NAN on the sideline that art was not about funfair but to begin to call serious attention to its growth for it to be accorded due recognition.

“Art has to advance through its promotion, so as to project the cultural values of our people and showcase it to the world.

“It is about the re-positioning of the theatre practice through viable programs and projects that would promote peace and unity in the country.

“Our projections and plans for the year is to apply our trade to ignite positive development amongst our members and the society and bring out policy issues that will help arts intensification.

“We also want to celebrate people behind the scene that had contributed immensely to the development of the arts sector”.

Meanwhile, Shaibu Husseini, the Chairman of the committee, World Theatre Day (WTD) told NAN that part of what the association should be doing was to use theatre for conflict resolution.

“Nigeria has certain challenges, which is why we are striving to use theatre to pass messages across to the people.

“We are calling on all tiers of government to put up community theatres in every local government of Nigeria, so that plays can convey different messages across to the people than any other medium.

“Government’s policies will not be misconstrued; some issues will be cleared through acting it out to the people.

“Job creations and employment will be generated and expansion of theatre will take effect without stress, we don’t need to centre everything in Lagos or Abuja,” he said.

He said that the huge cost of halls was deterring the artistes from using such spaces.

Husseini noted that they were ready to do much if Community Theatre was in place, as youths would be busy and government would achieve a lot.

He, however, said that artistes needed to speak with one voice to be heard.

“We need endowment for the arts, theatre is big business. That is why we want to honour some people that had contributed to the growth of arts,” he added.

NAN reports that some people to be honoured are CEO, Terra Kulture, Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters; an actor, Ejike Asegbu; the President of the African Film Academy, Peace Anyiam Osigwe, and others.

WTD was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), Paris.

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