The National Association of Theater Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) has called on the Lagos State Government to create cottage theaters across the state.
The association during a courtesy visit to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the government could utilise the theatres in propagating its policies aside entertainment.
Mr Steph Ogundele, the Interim Chairman of NANTAP, Lagos Chapter, told NAN that there was need to take theater back to the people by creating more theatres in addition to the four in Lagos.
Ogundele said there were also vacant seized government properties that could be converted into theatres instead of leaving it to criminals to use as hideouts.
“There are cottage theaters, run by individuals. It doesn’t even have to be gigantic. Some of our members do have small theatres they run but how much can an individual do to make a difference.
“Government needs to create cottage theaters to canvass and preach their policies. The man or the woman in Epe, or Ikorodu, where will he get the resources to come to Ikeja to watch a drama piece.
“In Europe, in America, you have theaters and cinemas that accommodate just 20, 50 or 10 people. Our government can replicate that here and you don’t even have to go and start building.
“There are individuals who have properties in the localities and ready to give their space for little because they know that they are contributing to the economy of that community and the state at large.
“So, we must take theatre back to the people by creating environment, spaces, where performances can be done and where government can use to propagate their policies as a kind of orientation or information channel,” he said.
Ogundele added that aside entertainment, the key function of theatre practitioners was information dissemination being the mirror of the society.
“Although insecurity is one of the challenges of life theater but when a cottage theatre is located in the neighbourhood, it becomes easy to access one and bring life theatre closer to the people,” he said.
Ogundele revealed that members of the association were also in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Education and Schools Management Board to help bring theater close to the students at an early stage.
In his response, Mr Kayode Olaitan, NAN Head of Lagos Operations, pledged continuous support for the activities of NANTAP in the state.
“We want to appreciate you for coming and we already work hand-in-hand whether consciously or unconsciously.
“As part of our support for NANTAP, we will give you robust coverage, balanced and unbiased reportage at all times,” Olaitan said. (NAN)