Even as playwright Ebo Whyte readies to stage his latest play ‘I Want Your Wife’ on July 6 and 7 as well as July 13 and 14 at the National Theatre, Goldstreet Entertainment caught up with the brain behind the production to shed light on the play with the curious title.
According to Uncle Whyte, the play is about how failure to be decisive on issues can create monsters which later come and cause harm.
In the play, the couple could have dealt with a situation in its infancy but allowed it to fester scaling to huge proportions with Uncle Ebo noting the party involved then felt emboldened laying claim to the woman stating “I want your wife.”
“If you don’t take action when you have to take action, the issue grows. It doesn’t go away and becomes so big that dealing with it becomes more difficult,” the playwright submitted adding although there are three leading men at Roverman Productions, Andrew Adotey; one of the three served as the assistant director and acting coach for the ‘I Want Your Wife’ play.
Adotey it emerged is being encouraged to duplicate himself in many people as possible given his stature.
‘I Want Your Wife’ with Bond Savings & Loans as main sponsor runs on July 6 and 7 and again on July 13 and 14 at 4:00pm and 08:00pm.
On corporate Ghana’s investment levels in the creative sector, Uncle Ebo Whyte submitted corporate Ghana’s interest in the arts is to further their means by reaching their target market or market their goods.
“No company is a charity to dole out money. Creative people must prove to potential investors that their platform can best be used to achieve stated objectives. I don’t have any illusion as to why corporate Ghana is not supporting the arts. They might not support a platform but support another,” Uncle Whyte declared.
On why business people are weary investing in the arts here, the man married for 36 years reckoned a business person will not throw his money into anything unless he has done his homework to know how he can expect from a particular project adding until he gets good answers he wouldn’t commit his resources.
One way of remaining relevant despite the financial strain is for creative people in the country to continue giving stellar performances and executing solid productions to attract more people so that those with the resources can be swayed to pump in funds, given the huge numbers who buy tickets for shows knowing he would make good returns on the investment.
For 11 years, Uncle Ebo Whyte has kept the pledge to stage quarterly plays and asked what has kept him going, he calmly mentioned hunger.
Explaining further he submitted: “My father didn’t leave me with a cocoa farm so hunger drives me to do more and in Ghana creative talents abound and as far as there is political stability the quarterly plays will continue.”
A steady flow of production requires personnel and Uncle Whyte noted that the performing theatres of the University of Ghana, University of Education, Winneba and University of Cape Coast have had their graduates join Roverman Production ranks.
“We put up advert for auditions and when checks reveal applicants come from any of the three institutions they get automatic entrance,” the Roverman captain disclosed.
With 120 performers on register and about 80 showing up for rehearsals every Sunday, Uncle Whyte mentioned Roland Adom (Legon), Rebecca Abolosu (Winneba), Berlinda Asiedu, Antonio, Vivian as products of the three institutions as well as others.
Despite holding up his side of the bargain of quarterly productions, Mr. Whyte notes that the standard he would like to see is 8 shows in a week. “That is the standard out there. It is what happens on Broadway, West End and South Africa.”
“There are theatre groups in South Africa doing 8 shows a week. If you take Africa Umoja, it’s much more interesting as it has three different groups within the company. One side that tours outside Africa, one that tours Africa and South Africa and one which is resident at their theatre in South Africa. That is the dream to see not just for Roverman but all those in the Ghana creative space,” the Roverman Productions CEO rendered.
On the South African experience, the trained statistician, self-taught chartered accountant and marketing professional, reckons with South Africa having endured immense pain thanks to the apartheid era, its people were compelled to dig deep. The pain also accounts for their enriched music coming from a deep source enabling them to soar higher.
For the Ghana case, the man who has served in the Publishing, Financial, Pharmaceutical and Automobile industries observed Ghanaians lack patience for things to blossom but it will take consistency and measured steps for the creative arts sector to be competitive.
‘I Want Your Wife’ will see half the play being heavy on dance and music with Uncle Ebo noting he makes no distinction between local dance and music and foreign ones. “Being an artist, whatever is available anywhere is mine because I belong to the human race. For artistes there isn’t any boundary. Whatever I have which can tell the story better be it waltz or ‘kpanlogo’ will be used.
On seemingly incredulous prophecy by some Jesus men, the playwright with biological children and many adopted ones cautioned on the need to be guarded when seeking to decipher which is credible and which isn’t, the man whose plays some reckon have moral underpinnings held that even certain happenings in the bible if repeated this time would receive stiff opposition. Noting Jesus healing using spittle and sand would be contentious in this time observing God was so huge that any one claiming to know him so well can always be stunned by his manifestations.
Uncle Ebo Whyte has successfully written and directed over 20 plays including (Unhappy Wives, Confused Husbands, Women on Fire, Forbidden and Bananas & Groundnuts.)