All is set for the maiden ENINA Theatre Festival in Benin City that is projected to transform the Edo State capital into a vibrant hub of theatrical brilliance, celebrating creativity, diversity, and cultural exchange with a remarkable lineup of performances, workshops, and cultural experiences.
Billed for 25-27 August 2023 at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub in Benin City, the theatre festival is targeted at promoting creative skills development, especially in the area of theatre, and is projected to create at least 1,000 short-term jobs for Edo youths as well as make the state’s creative sector the next revenue generator after oil and agriculture.
The three-day festival, themed “Performing Diversity, Staging Inclusiveness”, will kick off with an opening ceremony that will feature a carnival showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Edo State, and wind down with an awards presentation at the closing ceremony.
It is organized by the Edo State Skills Development Agency (EDOJOBS) with the support of the German Government and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)-SKYE programme.
The event will be hosted by the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, with EDSOGPADEC, Azura-Edo, Olivia Table Waters, SuperFm 88.1FM Benin and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Benin as partners.
The festival will feature performances from theatre groups and companies across Nigeria and within Edo State. The performances lined up for the festival include Azagidi, Mama Bendel, Yet Another Raft, Joromi, The Struggle, Waterside, amongst others. Winning performances for the Best Monologue, Best Dance, Best Costume and Viewers Choice Awards will win cash prizes worth N2 million, courtesy of Governor Obaseki.
The ENINA Theatre Festival will also feature workshops, engaging panel discussions and conversations facilitated by theatre practitioners and industry experts like Norbert Young, Ossa Earliece, Don Pedro Agbonifo-Obaseki, Fadekemi Olumide-Aluko, Esther Onwuka, Israel Eboh and Ngozi Obigwe Kunuji. These will delve into various aspects of theatre – playwriting, directing, acting and technical design – that will expand participants’ knowledge and scope of the theatrical arts.
Prior to the festival, about a 100 theatre groups and youths from the state were trained on various areas of theatre, including costume design, lighting techniques, stage design and construction, directing among others – in a 21-Day Residential Bootcamp titled “Heartbeat Theatre”.
The beneficiaries of the bootcamp will showcase the knowledge and skills they acquired via theatrical performances to be staged at the festival.