The School of Performing Arts of the University of Ghana, has launched its Theatre Season, an annual event intended to showcase some of the major productions to be staged in the school within the academic year.
This year's season dubbed "CAL Bank Season of Theatrical Events," will witness a repertoire of classic indigenous Ghanaian works of arts and theatre in drama, dance and music. It will take place at the Efua Sutherland Studio.
The line-up of five productions includes: "The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born", by Ayikwei Armah which runs from March 1- 4 and "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles to be performed on March 8, 9, 10 and 11.
The rest are "Music and Dance of Our Time", by the Music and Dance Departments which will come off on March 15, 16, 17 and 18, "Etuo Ato Bare," by Godwin Kotey on March 22, 23, 24 and 25 and, "The diary of Adam and Eve," a musical to be performed on March 29, 30 and 31 and April 1.
Performing the launch on Wednesday, Dr. Willie Anku, acting Director of the School, said the arts needed to be given "special attention and focus if we are going to project the arts to take their rightful place as a national treasure as it should be.
"The arts have a way of uniting us as a people, bringing with it a sense of nationalism and patriotism through the portrayal and dissemination of our national values."
Dr. Anku stated further that the arts could provide a constant supply of quality and educative entertainment for the entire nation, saying, "imagine that each of the productions slated for this season constitutes a professional company with programming that connects with the community."
The groups could operate as part of a coordinated national artistic programme and perform under contracts over a period time at regional, district and community theatres across the country.
He said the school has at least 3,000 registered students in various capacities, 90 per cent of whom were merely using the performing arts as transit point to other goals.
That in itself, he said, was not a negative proposition "but there is a perception that there are no jobs out these for the performing artist."
Dr. Anku, therefore, suggested the adoption of the arts industry model through the entrepreneurial approach "to discover a whole new world for the artist."
He expressed the hope that with the school's partnership with CAL Bank, a process of establishing a vital and effective artistic entrepreneurship framework for the development of the arts in the country, has begun.
Mr Patrick Annmel, General Manager in Charge of Consumer and Retail Banking of CAL Bank said with the Golden Jubilee celebrations fever gripping all and sundry, it was important that the bank support sectors that epitomise nationhood.
"This is the underlying motivation that we have at CAL, to support the arts which has not received the kind of attention it requires over the years.
"We, by this action, wish to blaze the trail for the rest of corporate Ghana to follow suit in assisting to develop, fully harness, as well as optimise the potential of the arts in Ghana," he said.