November 16,2022 – Virtual; December 17-18, 2022 – Physical
BRIEF ON THE NATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL OF UNITY
The National Theatre Festival of Unity was introduced in 2020 as an annual event by Professor Sunday Enessi Ododo, (fsonta, fta, fsna, fana, fnipr, FNAL), the General Manager/CEO of the National Theatre. The maiden edition which featured music, dance, and stand-up comedy held at the National Theatre complex, Iganmu-Lagos from 10-13th December 2020.
The festival was conceived to celebrate life, build bridges of unity, promote peace and harmony as well as rekindle hope in humanity following the disruption by the Coronavirus pandemic which rocked the globe. Accordingly, the maiden edition had the theme: Healing Nigeria. In Nigeria, besides the pandemic, there was also the unprecedented youth protest that engulfed the nation shortly thereafter. The maiden edition offered Nigerians and residents alike fresh opportunity to engage and enjoy live performances which were temporarily suspended because of the pandemic.
Continuing in its tradition of preaching hope and perseverance amongst Nigerians, the National Theatre hosted the second edition of the festival from December 10th- 12th, 2021 under the theme Enduring Optimism. The 3-day event which also held at the National Theatre, Iganmu- Lagos featured more events than the maiden edition. The new events include: carnival procession, film show, visual arts exhibition and and awards ceremony. These were in addition to the usual live-theatre performances, music, stand-up comedy, dance.
This third edition of the festival with the theme Celebrations is designed to consolidate upon the gains of the first two editions. The theme was carefully chosen to give Nigerians an opportunity to take stock of God’s abundant blessings in their lives. The edition which runs from 16-18th December 2022 falls within the last four months of the tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari led democratic government. It is therefore only fitting to leverage this festival to take stock of the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari despite daunting challenges foist on Nigeria by escalating global economic recession and daunting security challenges.
The festival shall commence on Friday 16th December 2022 with a new addition to the activities- a virtual roundtable on play creation anchored by the Nigerian Centre of International Theatre Institute (ITI-UNESCO).
The innovative rounbdtable shall feature two leading Nigerian playwrights and former Chief Executive Officers of the National Theatre of Nigeria, Professors Femi Osofisan (2004-2007) and Ahmed Parker Yerima (2007-2014) as mentors and lead speakers. The panelists shall include the three National Theatre Play Reading Series-award winning playwrights.
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