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Jos Festival of Theatre 2020 holds march


Jos Festival of Theatre.

Though there is no dearth of theatrical performances and festivals in Nigeria, it is often difficult to see much of this in the country due to a lot of factors beyond the producers.

However, Jos, the ‘forgotten home’ of television drama in the country will be awash with plenty of drama and theatrics next month, as this year’s Festival of Theatre holds in the ‘Tin City’ from March 9 to 15, 2020.

The premises of Alliance Francaise in the Plateau State capital will host most of the performances. The festival, which is in its 14th edition, has fast become a nurturing ground for Nigeria’s young artists, as well as a platform for mature once to showcase their talent and creativity through a Nigerian and international repertory.

The festival, a private sector initiative, has become a rallying point for theatrical excellence. The festival is an ode to Jos, the city of creativity and culture, which lost its pride of place to the political crisis in the early 21st century.

The 2020 festival with the theme, Building Connections, will feature riveting plays as well as a variety of workshops for the arts community. Experts from Lagos, Kaduna, and Jos will facilitate the workshops. While the classes in acting, dance, basic film production, and arts management will hold during the day, the theatrical performances are set for evenings.

The festival’s plays will present poignant messages concerning relationships, marriage, politics, revolt, and the abuse of power over the week of performances.

Mr. Ezekiel Gomos, OFR, the CEO of Jos Business School will be leading one of the workshop streams on Artistes and Managing their Finances during the festival.

This edition will showcase the directorial skills of five directors — Kalbang Afsa-Walshak, Jumoke Alice Laka-Fasakin, Seyi Loving-kindness Babalola, Sunny Adahson, and Dr. Patrick-Jude Oteh.

For its 20th anniversary, the Jos-based Theatre outfit, Jos Repertory Theatre, which has performed over 100 plays in its period of existence alongside other activities that have made the organisation relevant within the arts community, will bring to the Tin City, celebratory performances that go beyond the politics of the country.

The play, Wat’s Dis All About, is coming in from Lagos after performances at the MUSON and the Lagos Fringe festivals in 2019.

Two American classics will feature in the 2020 festival. They are Edward Albee’s Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. These are plays that have earned their place in the history of American Theatre.

Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is rated as one of the longest-running plays on Broadway.

Jerry Alagbaoso returns to the festival with his latest play, Let My Husband Be, a satire on households and the machinations of extramarital affairs with a generous dose of religious expectations.

The revered Professor Femi Osofisan’s early play, A Restless Run of Locusts, is on the festival playlist with its study of politics, politicians and the extent they go to win elections. Yahaya Dangana, the author of highly acclaimed, award-winning, The Royal Chamber, is featuring in the festival with The Emir’s Secret, a story about betrayal, court secrets and abuse of power.

The festival receives ongoing support from the U.S. Mission Nigeria in addition to an array of local and international supporters such as Grand Cereals Limited, the International Performer’s Aid Trust, Jos Business School and the Czech Embassy.

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