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Creating an Enabling Environment: Ghana’s commitment to thriving theater arts industry

By Gloria Amoh

The Head of Department of Theatre Arts, School of Performing Arts, at the University of Ghana, Dr. Samuel Benagr, has stated that Ghana is fortunate to have some of the best people when it comes to theater professionals.

Theatre Arts play a pivotal role in the traditional and contemporary life of Ghanaians. Among its numerous importance and benefits are academic development, career development, transmission and preservation of cultural values and promotion of tourism

In an interview with Dr. Samuel Benagr, he explained that the current state of the theater has been very encouraging in the last couple of years, just from COVID to now. He mentioned that there has been a resurgence in interest in theater art.

“We have witnessed a number of interesting productions at the National Theater. Stating a very positive note will set us up for discussion,” He said.

According to him, the state of theater art is a result of a number of factors in terms of infrastructure and investment in the area, but that is on the issue of infrastructure. He emphasized that, in terms of skills and personnel, Ghana is very fortunate to have some of the best when it comes to theater professionals.

“If we have all these people in the country, all we need to do is provide the enabling environment so that the industry will thrive.” He explained

Dr. Samuel Benagr highlighted that theater is a total sort of approach where all forms of performances, bands, drama, and musicals take place. “But the spaces where we can have these performances staged are a big issue.” He mentioned

According to him, not too long ago, they had a crop of performers who traveled to UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and that is a testament to where we are as a nation in terms of our theater performance.

He said that he thinks we lack culture; we have not done a good job trying to imbibe the whole value of the arts into our communities and humanity as Ghanaians.

He cited an example and said, “Burkina Faso, right from a very early age, has imbibed the value of the arts in the young people, and they grow up with it.”.

Additionally, Dr. Samuel Benagr said that there are people who have the skills and talents, and so these people may not need to be in classrooms for years.
“UEW, UCC, and other private institutions have theater places where they are training people,” He added.

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