Universities are beginning to realise the gap between the realities of town and idealism or theories of the gown and the need to empower students and theatre artists for the future. It is this knowledge gap on how to start initiating students into the practicality of industry requirements and how higher institutions can train students to meet such requirements that Prof. Segun Ojewuyi is curating the Red Carpet Town and Gown Masterclass Speakers’ Series.
According to Ojewuyi, “‘The Red Carpet Speaker Series’ facilitates the presence of successful professionals in direct conversation with our university community. This simple exchange will activate such innovation and creativity that is sure to build revenues and platforms of market power for the arts in Nigeria. It pursues the proven path that the emerging creative industry of Nigerian film and theatre presents an alternative economy that will need a highly trained, intellectually savvy and business-minded pool of professionals for the country’s regeneration. The goal is to bridge the existing gulf of knowledge and innovation between the academic Gown and the professionally successful Town, in order for both to independently (and sometimes jointly) validate what either party is teaching and/or doing”.
Invited from a highly select pool of successful professionals, Red Carpet speakers exemplify distinguished professionalism and citizenship, proven in both local and international settings.
Founded and convened by Ojewuyi, the ‘Red Carpet Speaker Series’ brings together the brains of two universities – Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, United States, where he is Head of Directing, and the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan, where he was a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow in 2015.