Popular stage and screen actor and On-Air Personality with Wazobia FM Steve Onu, is among the long list of stage and screen celebrities that will serve as Ambassadors when the special edition of the annual Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF) dubbed special NUTAF 2019 opens on Monday October 21 at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
Others on the celebrity ambassador list include popular actress Hilda Dokubo, notable actor and theatre scholar Sam Dede and Theatre Artiste and Clinical Psychologist Pamela Udoka.
In a goodwill message ahead of the formal opening ceremony, Steve Onu who is popular as Yaw admonished participating students to see the festival as an opportunity to ‘network, build blocks of friendships and learn’’. He also said ‘’as a proud NUTASITE and theatre student, NUTAF for me was a huge opportunity to network and to learn because we are normally exposed to viva sessions where our works are criticized and that way we learn. The other thing is the workshop and seminars, which are always so rich in content and with resource persons that are already in practice. So it is always one week of fun, networking, performances and learning and I am excited at this special town and gown edition’
To be held under the theme ‘Theatre, Governance and Globalization’, this special edition, which is scheduled to hold as from October 20 to 26 at the National Theatre, aims at enhancing talent and creativity among theatre arts students across the nation’s universities.
Powered by the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) in association with the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Students Association (NUTASA) and the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA), this special edition which will play host a contingent of Theatre Arts students from 25 universities in Nigeria is supported by the National Theatre, Nigeria Chapter of the International Theatre Institute (ITI-NIGERIA), MTNNG, Zmirage, IATC and Ariiya tickets.
This will be the first time that the age long student theatre festival which debuted in 1981 at the University of Ibadan, will be hosted outside its traditional hosting area—the university. The festival has since inception, held on rotational basis among universities in Nigeria. The last edition of the festival held in June 2018 at the Plateau State University, Bokkos, Plateau State.
President of NANTAP Israel Eboh said that the association agreed to host this special NUTAF which will feature activities such as drama, dances, spoken word, stand up comedy, workshops and costume carnival, because the association aligns itself with the desire of the Professor Emmanuel Dandaura led Board of Trustees of NUTAF to expose the students to a more professional environment of theatrical presentations particularly the technical aspects.
Eboh hinted that the festival will be formally declared opened by the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Monday October 21 at 11am. The NANTAP President also disclosed that notable filmmaker Obi Emelonye, John Njamah, Hellen Paul, Segun Arinze, and ace production designer and NUTAF festival director Biodun Abe have been confirmed as some of the facilitators of the workshop and master classes that will run on the side of the performances by the participating universities.