Drama as a Source of Job Creation Nigeria is a country that has many rural areas. Many of these rural areas have no electricity therefore, recreational facilities are often in scarce supply. Thus, many people (adults and youths) tend to gather in groups under trees, in sheds, or on verandas to while away the time in conversations. Entertainment in most rural areas occur during festivals and ceremonies such as new yam festival, initiation ceremony, wedding, naming, Christmas, Sallah and other religious festivals.
The boredom experienced in rural areas should galvanize dramatic performance for the steady entertainment of the people all year round. In other words, in Nigeria as a developing country, it is the social responsibility of the government to provide jobs for the citizenry as well as recreational facilities for their relaxation. These are an obligation that every responsible and responsive government should think of carrying out. The government should make life comfortable for the people and be concerned with their welfare. Through theatre, the government can empower youths and improve their standard of living. According to Cohen (2003), “Theatre is a principal occupation of its practitioners.
It is a vocation for professional and an avocation for amateurs, yet in either case theatre is work”. Drama is a companion term of theatre which means something is done, an action is witnessed (Cohen, 2003). Drama can provide an occupation for the unemployed youths in Nigeria. To use drama as a source of job creation in Nigeria, all the three tiers of government should be involved. That is the federal government, the state and the local government. The ministry of youths, sports and culture can shoulder this responsibility effectively. Each local government of the federation should be made to establish at least three (3) dramatic troupes. Each troupe will have a number of actors and actresses.
The troupes should perform at different public arenas in the local government on rotational basis to avoid monotony of contact between the audience, and actors and actresses. The themes of the performance should be varied to also avoid monotony and redundancy. This will sustain the interest of the audience in the performances. In the rural and urban areas, there are public buildings such as town halls and school assembly halls that can be used for the performances. Or in Peter Book’s term an empty space. The ancient Greek Theatron was probably nothing but a flat circle where performer chanted and danced before a hillside of seated spectators (Cohen 2003).
Cohen goes ahead to say that “the minimal requirement for a theatre building is nothing but a place to act and a place to watch.” So, a modest structure with stage, seats and scenery construction will serve the purpose of this dramatic presentation project. In all the arenas, affordable gate fees should be charged. The fees can vary depending on the theme of the drama. Through dramatic performance, the people can be enlightened on government programs, policies, and activities.
These can bring about national development and enhance nation building. People’s lives can be changed positively. This project can introduce dynamism into lives in the rural areas. Because as noted by Barranger (2002), the “seeing place or E-ISSN 2281-4612 ISSN 2281-3993 Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy Vol 4 No 3 November 2015 81 theatre is where we are entertained and learn about ourselves and others.
It is the place where we perceive the how, the what and the way of our humanness in company of others”. Drama entertains and educates, and transforms the society positively. It brings excitement and makes life enjoyable. Dramatic presentation project will make people like rural communities and will minimize rural urban drift which we experience in Nigeria.