A drum ensemble from the Liberia Crusaders for Peace at the opening of the Unification Theater of Arts
Amid calls from Liberian entertainment sector for the establishment of modern studio in the country, scores Liberian performing artists, including comedians, were seen jubilating on Sunday, April 14, when President George Weah dedicated and declared open his privately-owned state-of-the-art theater and recording studio.
The jam-packed ceremony was also witnessed by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel F. McGill, Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson, and a host of other government officials, representatives of Liberia's music and movie unions and members the Liberian track-and-field team that recently won medals in the 2019 Special Olympics held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Unification Theater of Arts is situated in the Community of the newly established Forky Klon Family Fellowship church and is designed to provide modern, high-tech facilities that give unconstrained leverage to Liberians in the theatrical business, executive mansion press officials said.
President Weah (center) and other government officials at the opening ceremony of the Unification Theater of Arts
"It is now my pleasure to welcome you and to dedicate and officially declare the Unification Theater of Arts open and ready for business," President Weah said as he dedicated the performing arts facility with the seating capacity of 162, and a large stage.
As part of the program designed to entertain the guests at the opening ceremony, the Unification Theater of Arts also screened a Liberian movie, entitled, 'Snorti: The Chief Daughter', done under the directorship of Liberian international movie star Frank Artus, whose daughter is the star of the movie.
Artus Frank, President, Liberia Movie Union
The movie also featured several Liberian stars whose roles and actions kept the audience spellbound and choked by continued laughter from start to end. However, the Liberian stars at the end of the film called on President Weah to ensure the provision of equipment that will support mass production of music and movies.
According to them, the lack of the machine is hampering the entertainment sector, resulting in many losses.
"We have to travel to Ghana or Nigeria to do mass production, which leads us into too many expenses including hotel bills, air ticket, food and others. We can make the difference in Africa if Liberian entertainment is supported," a famous Liberian comedian, Joseph Dean, told the Liberian Leader.
The artists further called on President Weah to establish a university that will teach the theory and business of the entertainment sector.
Scores of Liberians from the entertainment sector have expressed concern about the location of the Unification Theater and Arts and what would be considered at the fees for renting the facility.
Banner bearing the name of the Unification Theater edifice
"The facility is attached to the Forky Klon Family Fellowship (Church), which is also owned by President Weah and senior officials. People gracing any show at the President's place will not be free to just move around," an entertainer told the Daily Observer.
Standard Bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) promised struggling Liberian musicians and movie makers to build the country's first modern recording studio and theater.
Meanwhile, the Liberian leader, in a recent interactive session with diaspora Liberians, reiterated his determination to build the Unification Theater of Arts that would be at the disposal of all Liberians interested in music and film, so as to lessen their burdens of traveling abroad to record and produce their works.