Interview with Sarah Boulos on SPAN@10 by Tamo Iruene


When a web search of organizations that support youth, dozens of websites will lead you to resources for enterprise, entrepreneurship and even football.  But what of the youth whose experience in sports leads them to feelings of failure? Or those that can never create anything with their hands to save their lives?

Do the same web search of organizations in the performing arts and find…. very, very little.

A vibrant Theatre Arts presence in a community brings other benefits as well.  It can bring in tourism  – and a steady cash flow to business owners.

The Society for The Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN), a performing arts institution that combines Nigerian cultural traditions with world-class training, creating a platform to nurture and release creative potential in art, dance and music has been in existence for 10 years.

10 years that have not been without their challenges, their highs and their memorable moments.

Sarah Boulos in her capacity as Founder and Chairman of The Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria has trained and or contributed to over five hundred individuals in the professional field. SPAN has showcased and partnered with over 100 NGO’s and Mission work as well as provided on a yearly basis over thirty jobs in the entertainment industry.

In a No Holds Barred interview with Mrs. Boulos, she had this to say



Why did SPAN start?

Because it was needed and I was ready to serve and today the industry is soaring with professional performing artists hired and owning private businesses. SPAN, BORN OUT of a GOD GIVEN VISION IS PURPOSE DRIVEN AND PURPOSE DRIVEN MISSION are ignited because of a need and the need is to educate and present performing artists  to provide them with job opportunities and present their art and for children to develop themselves in an area of education that is missing in Nigeria.

Was it difficult being accepted by Nigerians?

It was as first when we started but as much now because the Nigerian community can now see the benefits of the performing arts and what it brings to the community, like new job opportunities , a better and healthier lifestyle, a creative energy in the economy, a positive outlook on our city and A reduction in the poverty line.

What challenges did you face?

To build awareness and educate the audience that this project is very much-needed in our society and industry.

At the beginning, banks did not take me seriously and now they are hiring and sponsoring my student programs. Fundraising was also a major challenge and now it’s a lot easier, people are considering sponsoring the arts!!

What is different now…from 10 yrs ago?

Because the industry has opened partly due to our work, there is more hope to see a performing art center built and a place for young people to learn and develop themselves and pursue their career in the performing arts because of our success stories in the Industry.


Do you regret any of the decisions you made then?

No, only when I get tired and desire to quit then a young child gives me a flower or I receive an encouraging word from one of my students then I know how precious and needed my services are.

What would you do things differently if you had the chance?

Yes I would, in certain areas of communication and who I partner with but in general the journey is necessary in every dream as we must learn lessons in order to grow

What does SPAN @ 10 mean to you in a nutshell?

A place where our citizens are educated , entertained and inspired for more through the performing arts .

What do you expect the show to accomplish?

The show will reinforce our vision and the need to develop more educational programs and to build a place to accommodate students and citizens to explore the wonders of the performing arts.


F.A.T CAMP IS HERE! [p.s: and This Has Absolutely Nothing to do With your Size]!!

Welcome to the beautiful month of August!!! Summer is in the air, and we love it!
So, F.A.T CAMP is here!, and no, you don’t have to be a plus size to attend. F.A.T [in this case] means ‘Film Making, Animation & TheatreActing [Genius right?!]
So, as you say goodbye to the month of July, improve yourself with skills and knowledge. Attend the F.A.T Camp from August 4 – 12, 2014.
Hollywood veteran, Joke Silva, Tinsel Director and exceptionally talented script-writer Victor Sanchez Aghahowa, and other creative heavyweights will be coaching you at this memorable 8 day camp of Film making, Acting and Theatre acting.
VENUE:   SPAN Studio, 1 Abuja Street, off 1st Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.
DATE:     August 4 – 12
TIME:      10:00am – 3pm Daily
Brought to you by JMJ Studios and SPAN, Society of the Performing Arts in Nigeria.
For more info, please call 0803 924 7872, 0816 134 5228

The Future Is Now: Helen O’Grady Summer Camp Update

helen o grady summer campIt’s been two weeks of fun and amazing performances at the Helen O’ Grady Drama Academy Lagos Island Summer Camp 2014. We combined a blend of dance-drama to portray the uniqueness of theatre as a tool for child creativity awareness and self-development. At Helen O’ Grady Drama academy we never stop believing that every child is a superstar! And Summer Camp provides us with that opportunity to get up-close and personal with our studentS and help them arrive that point of total confidence.

The future is now. The future is here… The past two weeks have proven this to be very correct, as our Summer Camp students put together two classical plays “The Sound Of Music” & “Her wish” (African version of the Cinderella story) with our very own ‘Shade Shonibare’ Starring as ‘Maria’ in the sound of music. Their performance blew the mind of our audiences away at our weekly parent day presentation  held at #Span Theatre, no 1 Abuja, Street, off First Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi Lagos. Future Superstars are emerging before our very eyes.

The past two weeks of camp have been incredibly awesome! And we can wait to get the last week of camp (Week 3) started already.

Join us at Helen O’ Grady Summer Camp 2014 next week as we put together another grand performance. @ #Span Theatre, no 1 Abuja, Street, Off First Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi.


Sarah Boulos

The Academy – Principal – Lagos Island

Helen O’Grady Drama Academy

08091900700, 08091900600



Today We Celebrate Our Protege, OMO BELLO, The Now Famous Soprano in Paris


Omo Bello, the amazingly talented 29 year old who won the SPAN [Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria] Stargazing Contest and was presented in over 10 performances by SPAN in 2005 and 2006 before she left to study in France, has been doing so well.

At the Paris International Opera Competition early this year, Omo Bello won the first prize in the general category, the French opera of the 19th century prize and the public prize.

She has done so much for herself including singing in the role of Contessa Le Nozze di Figaro at the 2012 Verbier Festival, In 2012/2013, she took on the same role of Contessa Le Nozze di Figaro on tour with Opéra de Montpellier, debuted in the roles of Juliette Roméo et Juliette by Gounod on tour with Opéra de Tours, Jeanne La Vivandière by Benjamin Godard at the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, amongst many more. This season, she will debut in the role of Donna Anna Don Giovanni by Mozart at the Opéra de Tours and Opéra de Reims, Violetta La Traviata by Verdi at the Opéra de Montpellier and Elvira L’Italiana in Algeri by Rossini at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées.
In addition to her already rich resume, this year and next, Omo Bello will make a European recital tour with the pianist Clément Mao-Takacs as part of the Rising Stars programme of the Cité de la Musique, Paris and the European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO). She is also a goodwill ambassador of Rotary International.

Well-done Lady! We are so proud to have been a part of your career path


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Jazz and Dance Tomorrow at The MUSON Centre

interntional jazz day

Some real JAZZ will be going down tomorrow, Wednesday as U.S Consulate General in Collaboration with The MUSON Centre [Music Society of Nigeria] celebrates ‘International Jazz/Dance Day’. Students from the SPAN Academy of Jazz will be Performing as well as SPAN Dancers.  You Don’t want to miss this!!

DATE:   Wednesday, April 30, 2014
VENUE: AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan Lagos
TIME:     4:00pm – 7:30pm

The event will also feature workshops and performances by the 2013 OneBeat Program Alumnus Biodun Kuti, Dr. Sheyi Kehinde a lecturer at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, and students of the MUSON Center Music School.

SPAN GALLERY: View Exciting Photos from Our Recital!!

Nothing beats enrolling your children in programmes that bring out their creativity, leadership and communication skills… and it’s pure bliss when they get to showcase all they’ve learnt; this is typically what the SPAN recital is all about! For our last recital [in December], the excitement was sky-high as Christmas was only a few weeks away, so celebrations had already started to kick in!

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, December 7, 2013, at the Lebanese Christmas Bazaar, where these very talented kids presented all they had learnt in Dance. And of course, Santa was on hand as well to make the children smile with colorful gifts. Enough said, let the pictures speak… please enjoy! 




SPAN stands for ‘Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria’. We are the one-stop destination for dance, music and theater. New sessions have kicked off for dance classes for both children and adults, and our doors are open Mondays through Saturdays. Please view the timetables below. You can also find more info on our website or call 01-7767726. Our studio is located at No 1 Abuja Street, off 1st avenue, Banana Island, Lagos.

For up-to-the-minute updates, follow us on Twitter: @Spanigeria, Google+ : SPAN Nig and Facebook