By Romanus Okoye, Lagos
Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA) has restated willingness to partner with well-meaning groups and individuals in the task of rebuilding and rebranding the nation.
The association therefore calls on all stakeholders to join SONTA in the task of guiding humanity towards evolving a better community of man by exploiting the potentials and tools of the Theatre for peace building, diplomacy and egalitarianism.
In a statement, by its president, Prof Alex Chinwuba Asigbo to mark this year’s World Theatre Day, SONTA noted that even though this year’s celebration is low keyed in many quarters, it is very remarkable as the world is gradually coming to grips with the COVID 19 pandemic. He stated: “By this time last year, the future of the world looked bleak even as everywhere was perfumed with the fear of survival from the pandemic. This is why this year’s World Theatre Day celebration remains especially significant as it signposts the resilient spirit of the Theatre and Theatre’s commitment to building a sustainable community of man
“We thank God Almighty for the grace that led us all to this day- the 27th day of March. It is a day very dear to our Theatre profession.
Since its inception, SONTA has continued in her pivotal role of producing manpower for Theatre practice for both the live stage and the various media. We at SONTA are resolved to continue in this direction. We restate our willingness to partner with well-meaning Groups and individuals in the task of rebuilding and rebranding our nation using the tools of our trade.
“The theme of this year’s World Theatre Day celebration is germane as is offers us the opportunity to re-examine Theatre’s history as a profession, where it is now and where it is heading to and its role in helping man give meaning to his existence. Last year, SONTA proposed to interrogate, in our annual international conference, the meeting point of theory and practice in what we do as teachers of Theatre.
“This year again, the theme of SONTA conference (Theatre and Media Praxis in Pandemic Era) is not far from the reality on ground in the global village. We enjoin all Theatre scholars, Practitioners, Critics, Lovers and ‘haters’ alike to join us at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike in the later part of the year as we ask: what is the relevance of the Theatre in a Pandemic era such as we have now?
“As we rely on the age old motto of the Theatre – The Show Must Go On, we encourage all, especially Nigerians, to join hands with the Government of the day in preaching the gospel of peace to our troubled nation. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Executive Members, Fellows and indeed the entire SONTA family, I wish the global Theatre community a happy celebration of World Theatre Day celebration 2021.”