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Why it is difficult to attract audience to stage plays – Mister Rain

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Mr Babatunde Ojobaro, the Chief Executive Officer of Theatre Hub Africa, says it is difficult to attract audience to stage plays in Nigeria compared with films.

Ojobaro, popularly known as “Mister Rain,“  told the Nigeria News Agency in Ibadan on Thursday that so much resources and time are dissipated into stage plays compared with films.

“First and foremost, theatre isn’t so much popular and an acceptable genre of entertainment at the moment.

“It takes a whole lot to bring people out to see a stage play and when they do, you want to give them full value for their time and money.

“ This means we will have to work very hard and most times over work ourselves to achieve that,” he said.

Ojobaro said that the commercial value of stage plays when compared with film is ” ridiculous.”

“This is why most artistes prefer film to stage plays. The time, energy and resources spent on a stage play will have placed an actor in better stead on three different films.

“Getting artistes to stay committed is a huge challenge but gradually some people are now interested in theatre.

“Funding is also a challenge, it’s almost impossible to get a brand to fully sponsor a theatre production and you can’t blame them.

“A brand sponsoring any event wants value for their money which is in terms of traffic.

“As stage plays and theatre productions continue to get popular by consistency, that challenge will be something of the past.

” The entertainment industry we have today worldwide started from theatre productions and stage plays.

“At some point, as the entertainment industry grew, it moved on to home videos and so it started to grow into all genres of entertainment that we have today.

“So at some point, stage plays and theatre productions lost the grip on the audience.

“What we have seen in the last eight years suggest that people want something different and stage play producers in recent times have seen their audience grow over the years.

“Yes,  people find it interesting and have been coming out to see proper theatre productions,” he said.

Mr Babatunde Ojobaro, Chief Executive Officer, Theatre Hub Africa

Ojobaro also said theatre was gaining acceptability, adding that ” the growth is very rapid and that’s quite encouraging. ”

(Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Mufutau Ojo)

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