By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu

The National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), says it will explore digital operations to recover and reinvent itself in post-COVID-19 era.

The aim is to take theatre arts to its audience, Isreal Eboh, the President of the association said on Monday in Lagos.

Eboh told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that the COVID-19 lockdown had a profound effect on the activities of the sector.

He noted that the sector had practically shut down completely, following the COVID-19 pandemic, as theatre by its nature attracted audience.

“We entered year 2020 with lots of ideas and programmes to improve on our major events in the industry and had gone the extra mile to make these plans a reality.

“By the time the coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19 crawled into the country and before we knew what was happening, it destabilised our plans and frustrated our efforts.

“Even before the lockdown, theatrical performances were already going into lockdown mode as the fear of the epidemic was already scaring people away from any form of large gathering,” he said.

According to him, major industry events such as the World Theatre Day, International Dance Day that were expected to hold in March and April were not held as a result of the lockdown.

“These events had been held uninterrupted for the past 28 years but it is so unfortunate that the problems of COVID-19 made the 2020 editions impossible.

“The World Theatre Day and International Dance Day are usually significant as they come with performances; a big one for us here as we join other countries to mark the days’.” He said.

Eboh said that some individuals in the sector also suffered losses, while others had suspended their planned shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

The NANTAP boss said that the body would explore digital operations as an option to recover and re-invent itself post- Covid-19, being a measure to take theatre arts to its audience.

NAN reports that the World Dance Day marked April 29 is set aside to promote arts and culture, raise awareness among the public regarding the ‘art of dance’.

It spreads education about several forms of dance and the value in its art form.

The World Theatre Day created in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) is celebrated annually on March 27 with national and international theatre events to mark the occasion.

Source: NAN

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