The producer-artistic business relationship: a major concern for the survival of theatre practice in Nigeria
This paper evaluates some of the perennial problems identified by scholars, writers and theatre practitioners as the bane of the growth and survival of theatre practice in Nigeria. These are inadequate funding, non-availability of befitting venues, economic and social insecurity, training and professionalism, orientation of the public sector, technological development, and so on. The central argument, however, is the issue of the business relationship between the producer and the professional theatre artiste. The paper contends that there are many issues concerning the artiste working and struggling to get paid, and artiste being exploited by producers without respectable reward. Consequently, in order to conquer these exploitative tendencies and lack of trust on the part of the producer, the paper submits that it is imperative that the artiste puts his/her professional relationship with the producer on a sound legal footing. This involves not only engaging the use of contracts constricted in agreement with good professional conventions, but also considering the need for the formation of recognized monitoring structures that will be responsible for guiding the actions and behaviour of practitioners. This ought to be done with a governmental support safeguarding the various theatre Associations and guilds as it is the case with other established Associations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Society of Engineers, Nigerian Medical Association and so on. Thus, the method applied to this study is a self-report personality approach where the artistic business of the theatre is evaluated. The paper concludes that although some of the problems highlighted still exist, the situation is gradually improving, especially in terms of the availability of enough befitting venues and regularity of theatre shows at these venues.
Keywords: Artistic, Nigeria, Theatre practitioners, Producer-artistic business relationship