Former National President, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, NANTAP, Greg Odutayo, has urged the Federal Government to step up its assistance to the industry for more efficiency.
The former NANTAP boss in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos regretted that the stage plays were dwindling due to lack of funds.
According to him, the National Theatre needs to host visitors all the time, particularly, on weekends.
He described the theatre as the “conscience’’ of the people.
“The National Theatre cannot be effectively utilised without staging plays all the time and the audience must be there,’’ Odutayo said.
The practitioner also expressed concern about the dwindling attendance at the theatre due to the security situation in the country.
He said the security situation had made it difficult for the platform (theatre) to be used effectively in showcasing some of the best works of practtioners to Nigerians and the world at large,’’ he said.
Odutayo said that even in Europe, with the huge recession, the theatre culture was thriving.
He said that overseas practitioners were confronted with the problem of meeting the growing demands of the audience.
“People are ready to spend the little they have in enjoying an evening out to drive away their sorrows,’’ he said.
Odutayo lamented that in Nigeria, people had lost their political and philosophical bearing and needed to practice their indigenous arts and culture.
He said the theatre practitioners should not relent in ensuring that productions were done and to be ready all the time to keep the little audience that appreciated what they do.
“We must take a cue from Europe. Theatre must regain its pride of place and our audience need to come back to the theatre,’’ Odutayo said. NAN

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