The months of June and July are memorable months in the calendar of Nigerian Theatre lovers, practitioners and all culture lovers. This is more so this year as in most parts of the country, several theatre troupes and departments of theatre, performing and creative arts raised their curtains to celebrate two icons of the theatre, Professor Femi Osofisan, the first black man to win the Thalia prize, who turned 70 in June and Africa’s first Nobel Laurette Professor Wole Soyinka who turned 82.
The Theatre Times was actively involved in the celebrations which included a conference held at the country’s premier university, University of Ibadan, in honour of Professor Femi Osofisan as well as performances of his play, Altine’s Wrath by The Thespian Family Theatre headed by Mrs. Ayo Jaiyesinmi. The play was directed by one of Nigeria’s most experienced theatre practitioners, Nissi George.
The celebrations continued in Lagos with Ibadan Play House headed by prolific actor and culture activist Ropo Ewenla staging the same play at the Lagos Country Club. For Wole Soyinka, the Ibadan Play House staged Soyinka’s Brother Jero’s Metamorphosis directed by Soji Cole at the University of Ibadan and Lagos Country Club. Also, as part of the event to mark the 82nd birthday of Professor Wole Soyinka, 82 children participated in the Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Programme.
The event also included music, drama and dance. As part of the occasion, participants reminisced on the role that CORA has played in the revival of certain art forms that many saw as endangered. One of these was Highlife music, a once popular music genre in West Africa. Many remembered the role of CORA in the revival of this music genre
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.