11th Jos Festival of Theatre 2018 begins March 4

A scene from Sefi Atta’s The Engagement

The 11th Jos Festival of Theatre will open in Jos, Plateau State, on March 4. Over the last decade, the Jos Festival of Theatre has become a nurturing ground for Nigerian artists to showcase their talents and creativity through a Nigerian and international repertory. The 2018 festival has as theme ‘Creative Expression in a Time of Hope’ and will feature riveting plays as well as a variety of workshops for the artistic community.

Also classes in acting, dance, basic film production, and arts management will hold during the day with theatrical performances taking place in the evenings. The Jos Festival of Theatre plays will present poignant messages concerning migrants, marriage, politics, revolt, and the abuse of power over the week of performances. The workshops will include facilitators from Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and Jos.

The 2018 edition will also showcase the directing skills of five new directors – Osasogie Efe Guobadia, Ebuka Ifebunso, Seyi Babalola, Sunny Adahson and Akolo James Anthony, who will direct the musical Brother Joachim’s Vocation, which he wrote. He previously wrote two plays, A Toast of Triumph and Late Pam, which have premiered at the festival.

Among the other plays that will be featured this year are two American classics, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and August Wilson’s Radio Golf. The Spanish contribution to the festival is Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna, a true-life story on events in the little Spanish city of Fuenteovejuna with an overbearing leader who faced revolt by the townspeople who eventually kill him on the night of a celebrated wedding in the city. The Spanish classic is being performed in English by local actors. Miller’s A View From The Bridge will be directed by Festival Director, Patrick-Jude Oteh.

Ahmed Yerima’s play on power, politics and betrayal, Mu’Adhin’s Call, will be performed alongside Sefi Atta’s Renovation, which will be used to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. Sefi Atta will make her second appearance at the festival after the premiere of her play Last Stand at the 9th Jos Festival of Theatre in 2015.

The festival has continued to receive support from the U.S. Mission in Nigeria in addition to an array of local and international supporters such as Grand Cereals Limited, the International Performer’s Aid Trust, and the Jos Business School.

The pre-festival play, which will be performed on February 25, 2018, is Wilson’s award winning play Fences, which was featured at the 2017 Oscars awards. The play, which deals with the domestic life of Troy Maxson, is set in 1950’s America, when there was a new spirit of liberation but a liberation which makes Troy a stranger with an anger and a fear in a world that he never knew and which pitches him against his wife and his son whom he understands less with each passing day.

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