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For Park Theatre, season of plays by Wole Soyinka



For Park Theatre, season of plays by Wole Soyinka

Tony Okuyeme

Ahead of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s birthday, which holds tomorrow July 13, Park Theatre, the resident theatre platform for Freedom Park, Lagos, penultimate Saturday, a month-long season plays, in his honour.
Three of Soyinka’s plays will be performed every weekend in July through August 27. The plays include King Baabu’s which will have a command performance on July 26 at the same venue by Oxygen Koncepts. Other Soyinka’s plays scheduled for performance are Swamp Dwellers (which will be staged by Crown Troupe of Africa) and Strong Breed (by Renegade Theatre).
Park Theatre comprises One Six Productions (Toyin Osinaike), Oxygen Koncepts (Toritseju Ejoh and Zara Udofia-Ejoh), Crown Troupe of Africa (Segun Adefila) and Majmua Theatre (Abiodun Kassim).
Ejoh, who is the resident Operations Director, while addressing the media to announce the season of plays, said Park Theatre is a resident platform established to offer and promote regular theatre culture within the serene atmosphere of Freedom Park, Lagos, which is in response to the urgent call for more community-based performance spaces that balance the delicate needs of the performers and the community they serve.
The objectives of the theatre platform, they added, include offering Lagos community weekly performances at Freedom Park, promote, curate and manage programmes that will service the theatre needs of the community, and to strengthen collaborations for existing and emerging producers for whom we endeavor to provide a parallel level of support.
“Others are to provide a welcoming and nurturing environment that is accessible to everyone within diverse communities and beyond and promote new works while celebrating and preserving Nigeria’s rich theatrical heritage.”
Ejoh also said that the theatre group is on course to fulfill its mandate of showcasing theatre as regularly as possible, noting that it has attracted over 10,000 attendees since inception.
Also speaking at the conference, Osinaike, who is also resident Artistic Director of Park Theatre, said that although the production company would be promoting regular theatre, it does mean it would be producing plays every day. He added that the group is committed to the promotion of all theatre-related activities within Freedom Park space, and urged everyone who visits Freedom Park to see the prime venue first as an artistic space and not just a beer parlour, and encouraged them to patronise the various artistic offerings while enjoying the serene ambience.
On the reason the three plays were chosen for the season of Soyinka’s plays, they noted that though old, the plays are compelling and have relevance for the socio-political climate that now pervades Nigeria.

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