The unquantifiable relevance of school plays in Nigerian universities is glaring, sadly, it remains untapped by Nollywood.
But how can these two sectors work together? How can the education system benefit Nollywood? And how can Nollywood benefit back to students who act like prodigies? Here are two ways.
Training and discovery of young actors and actresses
Unlike TV, theater involves raw, unfiltered, authentic supplemental performances that are rare on the big screen.
In most cases, these performances on stage are more engaging than those that win awards on screen. In the NFL, scouts scour schools throughout the season to recruit the best student-players to come and play for their clubs. Nollywood should adopt this same method of recruitment, so that these bright and talented student actors can receive professional workshops and gain adequate production experience to transition into the film industry.
Inspiration for movies
At a time when cultural diversity has become a buzzword in Hollywood, it is crucial that Nollywood rides this wave. School plays feature original African stories that are rare in mainstream media; So, consultation and partnership between Nigerian theater artists, playwrights, student actors should be done so that more authentic black stories can penetrate the box office.
Remember that this relationship is symbiotic i.e. Nollywood benefits school theater and vice versa. Knowing that a top industry is fully involved in their academic pursuits, students will be compelled to put more effort into their performance as a chance of a break from Nollywood is not far away.
School theater is a goldmine of untapped acting talent, unique storylines, and Emmy-worthy performances. If Nollywood is determined to be really big, it has to stay home. One of the steps that key players in Nollywood need to take is to ensure that it utilizes all of its national resources and this involves drama at all academic levels. Theater treasures deserve to be used for more than academic assessments and can contribute to the greatness of African cinema. With proper execution, this decision will certainly improve the quality of films and performances at all levels of cinema.