The members of the management of the National Theatre, the representatives of Evergreen Music Company, our partners in this entertainment venture, staff of the National Theatre, gentlemen of the press, ladies, and gentlemen.
Let me use this opportunity to formally welcome the Press Corps to the latest addition to National Theatre infrastructure; the National Theatre Marquee, which is the venue hosting this Press Conference. Installation of this marquee is our latest effort at deflecting the impacts of the ongoing renovation of the National Theatre. While the works last, we are not going to be idle; rather, we are going to be implementing our vision of thinking outside the box, reinventing the wheels by providing purposeful and objective leadership to the National Theatre.
This Marquee is less than one month in operation; but I am proud to announcethat the patronage it has enjoyed so far which gives credence to the thinking which birthed it. I am proud that it is hot in demand, and I have booking requests on my table of events planned from now till the end of the year and into the new year.
That gives me confidence that the public and our clients have bought into our vision, perspicacity and philosophy for a National Theatre steeped in activities.
One of such events is the THRILLERBANDZ@THEATRE, a collaboration between the National Theatre and the Evergreen Music Company. All these are going on despite the repair works and the temporary loss of access to the edifice itself. This is because to us, the National Theatre is an idea both tangible and intangible; it is the physical monument as well as the Theatre that transcends physical walls and boundaries; hence our tenacity of purpose to forge ahead despite such obstacles that might have cowed many. For us, “The show must go on”.
The Second National Theatre Festival of Unity with the theme “Enduring
Optimism” particularly apt at this period in time for us at the National Theatre; for Nigerians and indeed the entire world. We have remained optimistic and that is why we have seen opportunities where others might have seen insurmountable challenges.
We have kept the Theatre alive so much so that a lot of people wonder at the paradox of the National Theatre being busier now that the complex is locked for much the needed renovations than when it was in use years before now. FOI example, with staff trainings, round-table engagements with industry stakeholders and corporate partners, the workshop on theatre technology and the National Theatre Play Reading Series which I am happy to announce is going to Nasarawa State University in the coming year- we have continued to put optimism to great use in breaking new grounds and keeping the National Theatre functional in the areas of talent hunt and development in the performing arts; the preservation, promotion and presentation of our cultural heritage in Nigeria – which are part of the core mandates of the National Theatre.
Last year December, when I was barely three months in office, I, my Management team and staff of the National Theatre with the invaluable support of the creative industry through their associations and guilds successfully staged the First National Theatre Festival of Unity even with zero budgetary provision. It was only possible because we worked hard, called in favours from friends and allies in the industry, leveraged on pre-existing relationships and goodwill It is so heart-warming that Nigerian artists at home and in diaspora came to perform. The occasion also created a platform for upcoming artistes to showcase their talents.
This year’s National Theatre Festival of Unity is going to be bigger, bolder, and richer as we have had more time to crystalize the vision, engage more people from the entertainment space and gotten many positive feedbacks. There are stateArt Councils awaiting our invites, while the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture has volunteered to come in as a principal partner. We recognize the importance and the role of the press, hence this Press Conference.
National Theatre Festival of Unity– Enduring Optimism– is billed to commence on Friday 10thof December and run through Sunday 12th December, 2021. On the menu, we have Music, Exhibition Dance, Drama, Comedy, Street Carnival and more. We assure you of a wonderful outing.
Speech By The General Manager/Ceo Of The National Theatre, Prof. Sunday EnessiOdodo,/Sonta, Fta, Fsna, Fnal, At The Joint Press Confrenece For The National Theatre Festival Of Unity And The Thrillerbandz@Theatre, A Collaboration Between The National Theatre And Evergreen Music Comapany On Thursday, 18th November, 2021.