NANTAP documents Lagos history through playwriting competition

The Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) has organised “Akete theatre”, a playwriting contest, to documemt Lagos history and spur creativity among the youth.

Mr Israel Eboh, National President of NANTAP, disclosed this during a new conference held on Tuesday in Lagos to unveil the seven top shortlisted plays for the competition.

According to Eboh, there is great need for Lagos history to be documented considering the rate at which it is evolving over time.

He said that this would be done in a way to also build generations of skilled writers as the overall winner of the playwriting contest would  have such play published and included in the  literature curriculum of Lagos State.

According to him, the contest is in partnership with the Lagos State Government and will henceforth be an annual contest.

“Akete theatre competition is a component of the Akete theatre festival, we thought the need to regenerate the total theatre process, playwriting to performance and decided to locate the festival in a city, with the choice of Lagos State.

“We picked Akete because it is peculiar to Lagos State, the competition is meant to document and celebrate the city of Lagos, Lagos is a theatre on its own.

“The competition is the first process of the festival which will hold in September

“We tried to ensure that the entries we picked for scrutiny dwell on the ecentricity of Lagos which makes the state unique,” he said.

Eboh noted that tested professionals in the act of acting, directing and producing were carefully selected as members of the jury.

He listed them as Prof. Tunji Azeez of the Theatre Arts Department, University of Lagos, Dr Adigun Olabisi of Bowen University and Tosan Edremoda-Ugbeye, a veteran actress, director and producer.

He commended the efforts of the jury for paying attention to details in the process of evaluating the plays.

He said that the first three winners would be rewarded with some prize money.

Earlier, Azeez, who is the chairman of the jury, revealed the top seven shortlisted plays.

Azeez said the shorlisted plays were “JJC” written by Ibrahim Abdul-Qudus; “Memoirs of a Bus Conductor” by Emeka Otoba;  “Milk, Honey and What Not” written by Temilolu Fosudo and  “Yellow Dreams” by Paul Ugbede.

He said others were “The Embodiment (Return of Eyo-Adimu)” written by Olusegun Ajayi;  “Rebirth” by Adaeze Ibechukwu and “The Salt Water Wars (Ogun Omiiyó)” by James Henshaw.

“Out of 56 script entries submitted, they were prunned to 27 and now seven, and the scripts were gotten from Nigerians across the globe.

“I want to commend NANTAP for coming up with this, encouraging the growth of theatre culture, this reveals that theatre profession has a future and NANTAP is driving that vigorously.

“This is targeted at developing young talents in the theatre profession,” he said (NAN)

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