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Togo: "Rendez-vous chez nous" festival shows why actors are taking theaters to the audience

2024   -  
Copyright © africanews
Noël Tadégnon--2024


Togolese people no longer go to theaters to attend theatrical performances. Faced with this disinterest, artists, actors, and other directors are now organizing performances in houses and street performances to once again interest Togolese people in theater.

One such unusual event took place recently in the courtyard of a house in Lomé where chairs, a stage, and spotlights were set up for a theatrical performance called the "Rendez-vous chez nous" festival

**_"The space in which the performance is set up, first of all, I am very, very happy because we are taking theater out of the four walls that we are used to seeing." says_**Koko Dossou, spectator

The objective is clear: to take theater out of the usual framework of theaters and bring it closer to the audience.

**"The theater returns to its origin, the theater returns to the people to whom it belongs, which is the people, the population, and this theater is made from the everyday, from what we call the collective imagination of a city where people are, and to come and perform this theater in this place, it's just magical."**Marc Agbédjidji, the director said.

This magic of theater reaching out to the audience takes different forms: from simple performances to festivals in several cities across the west African nation.

"We have been doing theater in theaters for nearly 15 years. Every time, there is this problem of the audience that always comes back. You take all the time to create, then the audience is not there" says Gilbert Agbévidé, organizer of the "Rendez-vous chez nous" festival 

"The audience is somewhere. they can be found somewhere. At home, on a field, at the market, in public spaces. So it was important to take this public aspect into account and redirect our creations and return to the basics."

From theater in all its forms to performance, the new model of theatre puts urban heritage at the heart of the artistic creation process according to Agboka Ras Sankara, a performing artist thrilled about the new ways.

"It allows the audience to think. To also imagine what is happening through creation."

Africanews correspondent Noël Tadégnon, reports that Togolese actors hope that theater finds a new lease of life, resonating with local stories and realities. Bringing it back to neighborhoods, streets, and homes, it will breathe new life into urban heritage and reaffirm the magic of live performances.

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