By Idris Olukoya
Lagos – Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters, the Managing Director, Terra Kulture, an art firm, on Wednesday called for the building of more modern art theatres to generate employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Austen-Peters told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that more people were willing to patronize art theatres to relax from the hustling and bustling of the society.
She said that the theatres would create employment opportunities for many who could be employed as ticket sellers, film operators, cleaners, food sellers, guards and security men.
She said that they would also serve as veritable platforms for artists to showcase their talents and their creativity to the world.
According to her, many budding artists can be discovered and be groomed, and thus reduced social vices in the country from there.
They could also double as movie-screening venues, hosting of live comedies and entertainment shows, stage plays, art exhibitions and musical concerts, she said.
Austen –Peters said that her organisation recently inaugurated a 400- sitting capacity private art theatre in Lagos as part of its contributions to support government’s initiative to develop the sector.
According to her, the multi-million naira private art theatre will be of use to artists, creative managers and producers to showcase their talents and handiworks.
“We have limited art theatre halls in the country. The facility will encourage stage productions by local and foreign producers which her organization had been popularized over the years.
“This initiative will give the theatre industry a boost and reinforce the position of Lagos as the leading destination for premier entertainment in Nigeria.
“The theatre will also double as a movie-screening venue, hosting of live comedy and entertainment shows, stage plays, art exhibitions and musical concert.
“It will also provide Lagos, its environs, and the country a wide schedule of theatre, comedy, music and dance shows,’’ she said.
They are essential facilities needed to boost activities in the art industry, she said.
“It will be an avenue where up-and-coming artists can exhibit and showcase their creativity and talents to the world and learn from the outstanding ones.
“It is also an avenue designed for art practitioners to meet, train and groom talented individuals in art, drama, culture, comedy and music,’’ she said.
According to the Terra Kulture chief, her organisation is consulting for the Lagos State Government in building theatre art halls across the state.
She said with more art theatres in place, it would boost employment opportunities for youths.
She said that other art theatres would complement Terra Kulture as training centres for people who wanted to learn more about African cultures and lifestyles.
Austen-Peters lauded Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State’s efforts to develop the theatre industry in the state through the building of art theatre arenas.
NAN reports that Gov. Ambode in January expressed his administration’s commitment to build art theatre arenas across the state to boost activities in the sector.
“The building of art theatres will go a long way in repositioning the face and image of the industry in the state and in Nigeria at large,’’ she said.