The Global President of International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC), Margareta Sorenson, has described the theatre critic as the media writer who presents culture in performance in many ways just as the President, IATC-Nigeria, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, has said that the theatre critic is indispensable if information on performance must be disseminated.

Stating this in the briefing of Young Critics on the activities of the theatre critic at the Freedom Park, Lagos, Sorenson said that the theatre critic, as the person that critically comments on the culture of performance, is very important in helping people understand the culture a performance is presenting.

Highlighting on the need to embrace the Association, she said the theatre critic is powerful on the purpose of promoting the theatre in its entirety, and that it presents the critic in the media in various genres and through the ages, stating that IATC has been in existence for 60 years.

According to her, the critics are the spectators, who are knowledgeable on theatre and they comment on theatre performance through articulating aspects of the performance in their writing for the audience to understand the theatre better, adding that IATC emerged in 1956, as a non-profit (non-governmental organization), benefiting under the B Statute of UNESCO; and that its activities include, conferences, symposia, and seminars for young and upcoming theatre critics.

The President, IATC-Nigeria, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, who is also Africa’s sole representative in the IATC International Executive Committee, encouraged the young critics, even as he told them that they were quite privileged, because the training they will receive in the whole programme will sharpen them for critical engagements in the theatre, adding that the theatre critic has the sole responsibility of guiding the theatre personnel on their activities in theatre productions and performances.

Continuing, Prof. Dandaura thanked the British Council and the organizers of Lagos Theatre Festival, for the collaboration with IATC, saying the synergy needs to be sustained in order to enhance the development of professional and educational theatre practice in Nigeria.

Earlier, Uju-Dubas Agbasi and Victor Mark-Onegbu of the British Council had briefed the Young Critics on the essence of the programme, saying the session was for trainers, and that the briefing was an orientation to intimate the Young Critics on the nature of training they will engage in, informing that the facilitators will help to discover many young theatre practitioners for exposure.

Critics and festival curators, such as, Assoc. Prof. Ivan Medenica, Dr. Octavian Saiu and Bernice Chan K. Wai, are also attending the programme, as facilitators, apart from Margareta Sorenson.

Nwagbo Pat Obi

Director, Publicity and Membership Services