The President of the Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana, George Quaye, has expressed concern about the abandoned state of the new ultra-modern Drama Studio at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon.
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo to bring life back into the drama studio in a letter.
George, who is also the CEO of Image Bureau, said in his lengthy letter sighted by Zionfelix.net that the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio was once a beacon of artistic expression, a space where creativity thrived, and where generations of talented individuals honed our skills in music, dance, and theatre arts.
The media personality added that its importance extended beyond the academic realm, as it served as a hub for cultural exchange, community engagement, and artistic collaboration.
He further lamented the current state of this once-vibrant institution, stating that it is disheartening.
Read the letter below.
Good Evening Your Excellency.
I write to you with a heavy heart and a deep sense of urgency regarding the abandoned state of the new ultra-modern Drama Studio at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon.
As a concerned citizen, President of the Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana – ATWAG, a creative through and through and a passionate advocate for the arts, I cannot remain silent while this vital cultural institution continues to deteriorate before our eyes.
The Efua Sutherland Drama Studio was once a beacon of artistic expression, a space where creativity thrived, and where generations of talented individuals honed our skills in music, dance, and theatre arts. Its importance extended beyond the academic realm, as it served as a hub for cultural exchange, community engagement, and artistic collaboration. However, the current state of this once-vibrant institution is disheartening.
Over the years, weather damage, broken chairs, a nearly unusable stage, and problematic electrical systems have rendered the theater virtually lifeless. This unfortunate situation not only hampers the educational and artistic pursuits of the students and faculty but also restricts the potential for impactful performances and workshops that could inspire and enrich our society. Why should paid for performances, important lectures, rehearsals and other relevant activity all be canceled, curtailed held up or postponed just because the sun shone too brightly or the clouds let the rains come down too abruptly in 2023 Ghana? Why?
I would be remiss not to mention that a glimmer of hope emerged in 2004 when the President J.A. Kufuor administration, with funding from the GETFund, initiated the construction of a new theater for the School of Performing Arts. The promises of a state-of-the-art facility, multiple stages, increased seating capacity, and modern equipment were met with great anticipation by the artistic community. However, to our disappointment, the project has remained in a state of abandonment for almost two decades.
Your Excellency, I implore you to consider the profound impact the completion of this theater could have on our cultural landscape and the lives of countless individuals who are eager to contribute to the arts.
The year 2024 will see the centenary celebrations of the legendary Efua T. Sutherland, the great mother of this land after whom the Drama Studio was named. By revitalizing the old structure and seeing to the completion and grand opening of the new one, you would be investing not only in the education and artistic development of our students but also in the preservation and promotion of our rich cultural heritage while bolstering the legacy of Efua T. Sutherland in the annals of our rich history.
I respectfully request your intervention in ensuring the immediate resumption and completion of the construction of the new theater. I understand the challenges faced by our nation, but I firmly believe that prioritizing the arts is crucial for the well-being and progress of our society.
Let us not allow this beacon of creativity, the School of Performing Arts, to fade away into oblivion but instead breathe life back into it, giving rise to a flourishing artistic community that will inspire generations to come.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, Your Excellency. I remain hopeful that with your decisive leadership, the Efua T. Sutherland Drama Studio will regain its glory and continue to serve as a testament to the transformative power of the arts.