Arts & Entertainments

New Swan Shakespeare festival: All the world’s a stage

…as Jos Repertory Theatre performs in Nigerian languages

As the New Swan Shakespeare Theatre Festival opens virtually from July 18, performing every summer weekend, and ends on Thursday, August 26, 2021, the acclaimed Jos Repertory Theatre, Nigeria, will perform excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays in English, Pidgin English, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa. The festival, organised by the University of Southern California, Irvine, is aptly titled ‘All The World’s A Stage’ and will feature Shakespearean actors from around the world performing in the language of their choice.

The Jos Repertory Theatre performance of excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays in English, Pidgin English, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa will hold on Sunday July 18 from 2.00pm – 3.30pm (PDT) which translates to 10.00pm – 11.30pm (Lagos Time). According to the Artistic Director of Jos Repertory Theatre, Dr. Patrick-Jude Oteh, they have been working in close collaboration with the Irvine team led by the indefatigable Artistic Director, Eli Simon to ensure that this happens as seamlessly as possible.

“It has been fun and super exciting and we are all eagerly looking forward to the July 18th performance,” Oteh enthused, adding that “the collaboration has opened up new vistas we did not know was feasible hearing Shakespeare in our own familiar languages. There will be discussions on each company’s creative process and how they were able to arrive at the eventual short film as well as clips on each.” All performances will be virtual and will stream across the world every weekend starting from the weekend of July 17th. “You can contact the Jos based theatre company on josreperthea@yahoo.com for details on how you can join the performances.

It promises to be a rich theatre harvest on the works of the timeless bard, William Shakespeare,” Oteh further stated. Jos Repertory Theatre was founded in 1997 as a not-for-profit independent theatre organisation, but full program implementation commenced in 2000.

They are engaged in activities ranging from play/poetry readings, production of scripted plays and the creation of theatre-for-development plays. Backed by experiences from over a decade of theatre practice, (having taken part in theatre related activities in Sierra Leone, Cote d‘Ivoire, Italy, United States of America, United Kingdom, Kenya, South Africa), the Jos Repertory Theatre has been involved in training programs for artistes including amateurs, the creation of theatre-for-development plays as well as the training of youths in relevant skills acquisition. The vision is to be the most successful theatre organisation in Nigeria and to be an effective change agent impacting positively in every sphere of life.

 

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