Press Release - A Nigerian joins a team of global theatre experts to discuss potentials of a new ind

Theatre Emissary International’s Founder and Director, Mr. Taiwo Afolabi has been chosen by the Dramatic Art Centre of Iran to join an international panel of experts to lend and share his expertise to the Iranian cultural centre on the creation of independent theatre sector in the country. This think-tank panel of experts are theatre artists, scholars and culture administrators spanning the globe from the countries of Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Mexico, Georgia, Hungary, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Nigeria. Mr. Afolabi will proudly fly Nigeria’s flag at the event.

During the call to veterans made by Mr. Mahdy Shafiee, the General Director and Dr. Mehrdad Rayani-Makhsous, the Director of International Relations of the Centre, ‘Independent Theater’s presence is a new current event in Iran. It needs to be developed, up to date and find its determined and indistinctive, familiar and unfamiliar verges’. According to the host country, ‘this presence needs participation of governmental and independent activists to draw a lucid plan for its development’. Hence the Centre is happy to welcome this panel for a three-day deliberation and discussion which has been tagged ‘International Seminar on the Potentials of Independent Sector in Theatre’ in Tehran, Iran.

According to a press release by Theatre Emissary International’s Communication’s Officer, Abel Alechenu, Mr. Afolabi’s presentation is titled ‘Managing and Enterprising Independent Theatre Department: Sampling Patterns from Nigeria’. Speaking on his selection to be part of this team of international experts from fourteen different countries across the globe, Mr. Afolabi believes that this is a prominent recognition for his country and expertise within the academia arena. He believes that he will be able to make a positive and unique contribution and represent the voices of the young practitioners in the field of applied theatre. Furthermore, as a Global Co-coordinator of the Young Practitioners’ Committee of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), Mr. Afolabi believes that this stride by the Iranian government to foster the first of its kind independent theatre sector will engage all and sundry in the new dawn of a creative arts industry in the country. He is an alumnus of the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and he has worked in different artistic and managerial capacities in Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, China, Ireland and Canada. Mr. Afolabi believes that this stride by the Iranian government to foster independent theatre sector will engage all and sundry in the creative industry in the country.

It will be recalled that Mr. Afolabi led the Nigeria delegate to the Albugaa Theatre Festival in Khartoum in 2013 where he and his delegates, Samson Oklobia and Charles Etubiebi, were received by the then Ambassador of Nigeria to Sudan, Mr Haliru Sodongi Shuaibu. That same year, Mr. Afolabi was also commissioned by the Danish Arts Agency through her International Research Program to conduct research in Denmark on the activities in theatre for young audience. He is an alumnus of the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and he has worked in different artistic and managerial capacities in Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, China, Ireland and Canada. Furthermore, Theatre Emissary International’s assistant director Charles Etubiebi represented Nigeria in celebrating the 150th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s’ The Tempest in Armenia in October 2016.

The Dramatic Arts Centre (with the acronym, DAC) is the Culture Agency of the Iranian Ministry of Cultural Affairs. DAC was established in 1982 as a center of performing arts of Iran; saddled with the responsibility to oversee cultural activities in the country and it runs different kinds of theatre festivals across all ages. Through her activities, DAC supports amatory and professional troupes to showcase and foster creativity and new methods of showcasing plays. Involved with children, adult, outdoor, street theatre and puppetry, the Centre holds many annual and biennial national and international festivals such as, Street International Theater Festival (Annual); Children International Theater Festival (Annual); Fadjr International Theater Festival(Annual); Puppet International Theater Festival(Biennial) and Ritual and Traditional International Theater Festival (Biennial).

Mr. Afolabi hopes that his involvement in this global theatre panel will encourage, entice and empower artists from Nigeria and beyond to further collaborate and explore diverse opportunities in the world of theatre despite any global challenges. This event will be held from the 5-7th March, 2017 at the Dramatic Arts Centre in Tehran.

Abel Alechenu

Communication and Research Officer,

Theatre Emissary International, Nigeria

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