By Vanessa Obioha
A new initiative ‘Theatre for Schools’ by MTN Foundation is set to debut next week. The initiative is a pan-Nigerian competition aimed at grooming the next generation of actors, actresses and theatre practitioners as part of the Foundation commitment to the development of arts and culture in Nigeria.
The competition is expected to attract secondary school students in the arts and culture and will entail university faculties of Theatre Arts mentoring a select number of secondary schools within their geographic catchment area.
The participating schools will be required to produce a play which will be staged, first at regional finals in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Ibadan, with the winners showcasing their work at a national final in Lagos. All participating schools in the competition’s maiden edition will be adopted by the Foundation as ‘MTN Arts and Culture Schools’ and paired with some of theatrical leading lights with the hope of nurturing and developing identified talents.
Speaking on the launch of the new initiative, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “One thing that has become clear from supporting arts and culture over the last few years is that Nigeria is burgeoning with amazing talent and many stories waiting to be told. With the Theatre for Schools competition, we are offering a platform for our next generation of storytellers. We are looking at nurturing teens who will go on to become great thespians in the Nigerian theatre scene.”
The MTN Foundation’s Arts and Culture causes have for the last five years supported shows, plays, musicals such as Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, High: The Play and other initiatives that aim to tell original Nigerian stories.