By Japhet Alakam
The art and creative industry recorded a major boost last week, with the official opening of the 400 seater capacity, state of the art theatre dubbed the “Terra Kulture Arena”built by Bolanle Austin-Peters. The arena which is the first privately owned technology equipped modern arts theatre in the whole of Nigeria, has already broken records as it hosted over 1,200 theatre enthusiasts during the opening ceremony which lasted for two days.
The arena which was declared open by Minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was witnessed by many art and culture enthusiasts which included Prof. Pat Utomi, Femi Gbajabiamila, Atedo Peterside, Olu Jacob and Joke Silver, Steve Ayorinde, Prof. Ademola Abass, Jahman Anikulapo, Teju Kareem, Kunle Afolayan. Others include, Mrs Bola Adesola, Mr Waheed Olagunju , Mr Tonye Cole, Nonny Ugbonna , Mr Tony Attah , Oscar Onyeama, Mr Bayo Ojulari, Pastor and Mrs Paul Adefarasin, Pastor and Pastor Mrs Tony Rapu, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, Mr and Mrs Jimi Agbaje, Mr and Mrs Tunde Folawiyo, Mr and Mrs Olawale Edun, Mr and Mrs Segun Awolowo and Mrs Maiden Ibru.
The roll call was endless as they came to witness the product of the resilience and tenacity a woman who believes in changing the look and face of theatre in Nigeria.
It was a moment of glory for the boss of Nigeria’s foremost culture centre, Terra Kulture, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, with the reception of people during the opening.
Regarded as the all in one center for arts and culture aficionados, the space was built to serve a significant need in the theatre industry as only a few places in Nigeria provide the appropriate ambiance, for Nigerians and foreigners alike to experience Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.
It was a twenty first century creation fitted with the state of the art infrastructures. The arena, which also doubles as a movie-screening venue, will host a range of shows, plays and musicals .
It will also have the challenging role of providing Lagos, its environs, and Nigeria as a whole with a wide schedule of theatre, comedy, music and dance.
Guests were thrilled with short clips from Saro the musical, Waka the musical and BAP productions’ newest feature, Fela and the Kalakuta queens which will show throughout December.
There was also a special rendition of the soundtrack of Wakaa by soul singer, Brymo.
In his address, Minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commended Austen-Peters and pledged the support of the Federal Government to boost art and culture in the country.
Speaking at the event, the hard working CEO of Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austin-Peters disclosed that the need to provide a good space for theatre productions informed the building of the arena. “You know we’ve been doing theatre here for about 7 years and the hall was not adequate, it does’t suite the purpose for which we intended and so we realised that the infrastructures are challenged and we all recognise that to built anything, industry, you need a good structure to support it. So we decided that the best way to move forward and get the industry better is to build our own space.”
Continuing, she noted “what we have done is to change the look and face of theatre going forward. Its almost 40 years thaetre was built in Nigeria. People have been saying waoh, waoh, the beauty of it is that with what we have done, other people will begin to see the value add and what we can as a people do to bring change to the society. We don’t have to wait for the government, there are people who has this but they did not do so, we hope that this sends a positive note to them.”
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