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Theatres create greater impact on society than screen plays, say practitioners

A performance at the University of Jos Open Air Theatre

Two lecturers in  Theatre Arts  from the University of Nigeria (UNN) Nsukka, Enugu State, have canvassed that  theatre practitioners should be more involved in stage plays  than screen ones.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) separately that stage plays or theatres usually reflected more on the realities in the society than screen plays.
They said that screen plays or films were usually make-belief tricks.
Dr. Ndubuisi Nnanna, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts at UNN said that the theatre could create a positive impact on the society being the maiden traditional role of communication.
“The theatre mirrors the society and reflects the realities of the society according to the dynamics of the time.
“Theatre practitioners use it to make a statement about where the society should be and how it should go regarding national issues and development.
“We use the theatre to present issues on national integration, security, domestic violence and early marriage, educate the public on effects of common tropical diseases, intended for citizenship values and inculcation,” he said.
He said the theatre was best suited for inculcating citizenship values, behavioural change and rights advocacy because its codes of performance usually connect with the core of humanity.
Also, Dr Ikechukwu Erojikwe, a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, UNN, described the theatre as a powerful tool of communication and global change.
He said that many books had been on several topics which the public never had time to read.
He said that they would prefer to watch the stage performance of the messages such books wanted to pass across instead of reading them.
“People prefer to watch stage performance, hence, the theatre has become a good medium to relate happenings in the society.’’
He said that this could be achieved through plays, drama, skits, dance drama, mime, pantomime and movies.
“The unique thing about the theatre is that as it is entertaining, it is also passing a message to its audience.
“This form of arts creates the impression of what is happening in the minds of people, how it is affecting the country, possible remedies through physical actors and settings,” he said.
Also speaking, Adekunle Adeoye, a 200-level student of music in the institution, said that stage plays used to have better impact in showcasing societal ills.
He said that stage plays complimented by physical demonstrations by actors and actresses  usually conveyed messages with deep meanings to their target audience. (NAN)

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