How I got into theatre – Uncle Ebo Whyte recounts

The Artistic Director and Lead Writer at Roverman Productions, James Ebo Whyte has shared his experience on how he got into the world of theatre arts.

The playwright, popularly known as Uncle Ebo Whyte said his journey into theatre began in his secondary school days at Osu Presby in1972/3 where he was given an opportunity to play a part in a production.

Mr Whyte said he used to have a very serious case of inferiority complex so he always stood by the window after school and watched the members of the drama troop rehearse.

He was speaking on Joy FM’s Showbiz A to Z on Saturday.

Narrating how he got selected to be a part of the production, he said it started when a final year student from the School of Performing Arts came to Osu Presby to produce and direct a play as part of his final year project for six weeks.

According to him, three weeks into the rehearsals, the person cast for the lead role was not “cutting it”. On one of the days, the playwright recounts, the lead role player showed up late and he was made to fill that spot.

Uncle Ebo said he performed well because he had always watched them rehearse and had taken the tips and correction thrown at the main character, therefore, he knew the script.

“He wasn’t getting his lines, he wasn’t his moves, and he wasn’t getting anything. But I would always go and stand at the window every afternoon to watch them so at the end of the third week, the group had assembled for rehearsals but the main guy hadn’t turned up and the director was getting very nervous because he didn’t have any time to lose so he couldn’t afford to wait for the boy to come.

“But that time, everybody who didn’t have a role had stop coming for rehearsals so he begins to look around for somebody and I was the only one standing by the window so he calls me you come, I couldn’t belief he as calling me so I looked behind me and he said why are you looking behind you? You are the only person there, I said come.

“So I go in there rather timidly not sure of myself and he gives me a script and says read this for us about 6 to 10 minutes later he stops the rehearsal and asked me have you performed this play before? I said no. and then said how come you know it and I said I don’t know it.

“The guy turns back about 20 minutes later and he had lost the role. And that was my introduction to theatre, “ he said.

Inspiring from Uncle Ebo Whyte. Roverman production deserves some accolades for changing the face of theatre in Ghana. His story should inspire us to be resilient and hard-working