Home News George Quaye urges President Akufo-Addo to complete abandoned ETS Drama Studio ahead of centenary celebration of the playwright
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George Quaye urges President Akufo-Addo to complete abandoned ETS Drama Studio ahead of centenary celebration of the playwright

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Ghanaian Actor and the president of the Arts Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG), George Nii Armah Quaye has called upon President Nana Akufo-Addo to prioritize the completion of the abandoned ultra-modern Drama Studio at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana.

In a heartfelt plea, Quaye emphasized the significant impact that the completion of the Efua Sutherland studio would have on Ghana’s cultural landscape and the lives of aspiring contributors to the arts fraternity.

Taking to Facebook on June 7, 2023, Quaye expressed his concern and frustration at the deteriorating state of the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, stating that he could no longer remain silent while such a vital cultural institution languished before the eyes of Ghanaians.

Quaye, an alumnus of the School of Performing Arts reminisced about the studio’s past glory, describing it as a beacon of artistic expression and a space where creativity thrived.

“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,” he wrote.

The studio served as a nurturing environment for talented individuals, allowing them to hone their skills in music, dance, and theater arts.

Beyond its academic significance, the studio facilitated cultural exchange, community engagement, and artistic collaboration. However, its current condition is disheartening, according to Quaye.

Looking ahead to 2024, the centenary celebrations of the legendary Efua T. Sutherland, after whom the Drama Studio was named, Quaye highlighted the importance of revitalizing and completing the new theatre structure.

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“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,” he pointed out.

He emphasized that investing in the education and artistic development of students, preserving and promoting Ghana’s rich cultural heritage, and honoring the legacy of Efua T. Sutherland would be a fitting tribute.

“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,” he said in the lengthy post.

Quaye directly appealed to President Akufo-Addo, requesting his intervention to ensure the immediate resumption and completion of the construction of the new theater.

He emphasized that this action would not only benefit the artistic community but also contribute to the country as a whole.

The completion of the Efua Sutherland Drama Studio holds the promise of revitalizing Ghana’s cultural scene, providing a nurturing space for emerging talent, and honoring the legacy of one of Ghana’s cultural icons.

 

Read the full post below
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.

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