For easter delight, thespian family theatre brings back Itan
The Thespian Family Theatre and Productions is set to stage Ìtàn the Story, a thematically and culturally rich play for this Easter.The play is featuring some of the best actors in the country. They include, Albert Akaeze, Nissi George, Omowunmi Dada, Mayford Orhorha, Omololu Shodiya and fashion giant, Broda Shaggi. It yet has a surprise for followers of fashion industry boss, Funmi Ladipo-Ajila: She is a part of the cast.
The producer says Ìtàn is based on cross-generational conflicts prevalent in the modern world. In the play, an old and lonely recluse and village elder, Pa Latinwo, is shocked to find out that he has a grandson somewhere in the city. He sets off with high hopes to connect with the one person he can call family.She explains, “generational diversity and the emerging culture and future have impact on work and communities and this should be appropriately managed. It provokes thoughts around the emerging digital space and how life, work, spaces and communities will change over the coming years. Ìtàn is an intriguing stage play performed in English, laced with cultural and contemporary dance and music.”
The producer adds, “he finds his grandson, Dee-Kay, but rather than acceptance, this city gangster dares to challenge Pa Latinwo’s beliefs and motives. Both rooted strongly in their generational beliefs, get into a bitter scuffle. Asiko, TIME personified, intervenes and takes them on a journey into the past and the future. They both discover dark secrets that have been shrouded by the veil of time. Does this mediation save the day or tear both worlds further apart?”This is the question that the 90-minute performance featuring a 70-man cast and crew by Thespian Family Theatre & Productions is set to resolve.
According to Ayo Jaiyesinmi, who used to be a banker and human resources manager before creativity snatched her away from the boardroom, Ìtàn was inspired by the need to resolve generational tensions. Jaiyesinmi says, “Ìtàn is even more delightsome this Easter. Re-scripted and part of 52-episodes story from the Comic Book Series: Tales From the Realm. The play cuts across different generations and it’s been enhanced to make sure that each ‘Generation’ feels at home and thoroughly melts into the scenes that mirror them. The music and dance is revamped and fantastic and on the cultural flank, the audience gets to experience a bit more of other Nigerian cultures. Get ready to be thrilled at this super exciting show.”Ìtàn was first staged at the British Council’s Lagos Theatre Festival and was a hit. The play, which has had over 500 shows in Nigeria and abroad, is back on stage at the MUSON Centre, in Lagos, between Saturday April 20 and Monday 22.
The Jaiyesinmi-led group has staged a number of plays in its 15 years existence. These include, Wole Soyinka’s Lion & the Jewel, Trials of Brother Jero; Femi Osofisan’s Altine’s Wrath; Midnight Hotel; Ahmed Yerima’s Tuti; The Wives Lottery Ticket; Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame; Grip Am and Zulu Sofola’s Wizard of Law.
According to Jaiyesinmi,“these authors really inspired me. Although, the works have been around for a while, they remain evergreen because of their unique styles of weaving together captivating stories that have lessons woven into them. In choosing productions, I look out for those that align with topical discussions or conversations that should be triggered. These timeless plays are usually visual storyboards that are etched on people’s hearts for a long time. Lion and the Jewel is a classic change management story. How on earth could teacher Lakunle change the village or Sidi’s point of view if he didn’t even understand what he was up against? Some of my plays have also been performed. Some of them are Five Maids of Fadaka; ITAN the Story; The Crystal Slipper; Under the Orombo; Beyond the Garb and Mad King of Ijudiya. My stories are written bearing my aim to subtly convey a message or trigger conversation.”
“We’ve done a television series but no movies yet. Eventually, we will do movies but theatre is still our first love. I believe the impact of TV and the large screen usually can’t be compared to stage. A well-produced stage play with a compelling storyline speaks directly to the soul. That’s why a good stage performance comparatively is more expensive to produce than screen productions considering the amount invested in production vis-a-vis the people who get to see it, and the number of times it is shown. It, however, has a more enduring impact on people,” she concludes.
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