A streaming platform for stage plays? Charles Okpaleke is showing once more why he’s arguably the most enterprising entertainment entrepreneur in the game. Theatre culture in Nigeria is often always on the fringes, and while it’s understandable that stage plays won’t be as competitive as cinemas until perhaps attitudes start to shift, a couple of Nollywood actors have found a fulfilling duality in both mediums.
With the existence of streaming platforms for films, why can’t there be one for stage plays? Charles Okpaleke’s Stage Play Africa is the answer, launched as a virtual accessory for the just-concluded Lagos Theatre Festival. Given how the coronavirus pandemic has imposed limitations on movement, it was necessary to have stage plays translated as a virtual experience.
Stage Play Africa as a digital theatre filled its library with the plays that were on offer at the festival, from Killing Time, Dear Ireland III, This Little World to Shine Your Eye and Reflections. The streaming platform opens up global access to African stage productions on iOS and Android devices, including MACs, PCs, streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and Nexus Player.
As at the time of Lagos Theatre Festival, subscription access went for $5 (N2250). As a theatre-on-demand platform, Stage Play Africa will remain as a testament to Okpaleke’s business savviness, whether it becomes bigger in the future or not.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.