ITS 50 years from now when the famous Raun Raun Theater known today as the National Performing Art Troupe came about since its establishment on 15th, March, 1975 before the Country’s Independence on the 16th , September, 1975.
It first evolved as small dance (Drama) theater Raun Haus initially developed by Greg Murphy, a former Australian Solider who retired and became an academics teaching at Goroka Teachers College now University of Goroka initiated the idea to set up the Raun Raun Theater from then and now National Performing Art Troupe (NPAT) based in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.
National Performing Art Troupe is one of the cultural institutions functioning under the National Cultural Commission under the ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture.National Performing Art Troupe Director John Dua explained that the once popular Raun Raun Theater had gone though tough times during the past three years 2016-2018.
The building was on the brink of being demolished without any work done to revive the Highlands traditional Raun Raun theater. Fortunately, without wasting any time, newly appointed National Cultural Commission executive director Steven Enomb Kilanda with the support of the Tourism Promotion Authority allocated a funding of K300, 000.00 to rehabilitate the Raun Raun Theater and bring it back to live.
“Raun Raun Theater has been brought back to live but it has about 15 years of lifespan since its reopening in 2019. Now the challenge and the call for us is on how this iconic building will be maintained.
The lifespan of this building is nearing where it will no longer withstand any long periods in a similar traditional structure. Hence, the building was constructed in 1980 till 2023 so it can no longer be in similar style.
Timing is up for the Raun Raun Theater because at the opening in 2019, I mentioned that this building has 15 more years. It is up to the right authority particularly the Government to look at best way possible to rebuild this iconic building and give a new look in a more modern design to move the institution forward,” said Mr Dua.
“I am saying this because the building does not need to be renovated. Its time is up for a new structure to be erected to replace this traditionally built structured,” he said.
Mr Doa stressed with tears in his eyes stating National Performing Art Troupe has been operating in a container office for the past 23 years since he took office. However, National Cultural Commission comes to the aid by providing funding simultaneously to erect fencing around the NPAT Compound. This is not all, to our amazement we received another blessing when the executive director advised that a new office will be build for the National Performing Art Troupe in Goroka, Eastern highlands Province.
‘Since, I became the Director of NPAT, I operated in a container for the past two decades until our dream has become a reality where funding has been made available to construct a new double story office complex,” said Mr Doa.
The newly constructed NPAT office complex is nearing completion and it is soon to be open in a matter of time,” added Mr John Doa.
We will proudly occupy this newly constructed double story building office complex thanks to Mr. Steven Enomb Kilanda and its donor and development partners for making this become a reality after nearly 40 years,” said Mr. Doa with a smile.
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