The Governments of the Republic of Ghana and the Peoples Republic of China signed an agreement on 5th July, 1989, as regards the construction of a National Theatre Complex at the junction of the Independence Avenue and Liberia Road intersection and the reconstruction of the University of Ghana Drama Studio, which was formerly sited on the present location of the National Theatre.
Work on the Theatre was to move simultaneously with the construction of the Drama Studio at the University of Ghana.
Under the contract agreement, the project was to be accomplished in the following order;
*Drama Studio – Nine (9) months
*National Theatre – Thirty (30) months
Work on the National Theatre began on 8th March 1990.
Work on the Drama Studio, however, began on the 25th of June, 1990. Construction of the Drama Studio was completed on the 20th of February, 1991 and handed over to the University Authorities on 14th March, 1991. The National Theatre was however completed on 16th December 1992, commissioned and handed over on 30th December 1992.
Operations started with a performance by the three Resident Groups, namely Abibigromma, Dance Ensemble and the National Symphony Orchestra. This was followed by a performance by a Chinese Cultural Troupe. The National Theatre was to spearhead the Theatre movement in Ghana and also provide the needed multi-functional venue for concerts, dance, drama and musical performances, screen plays, exhibitions and special events. It was to be for people of all ages and walks of life. The Theatre, a building with a complex structure, has a total building area of 11,896 square metres and cost twenty million US Dollars ($20,000,000.00).
The main structure is constructed with reinforced concrete and burnt bricks with the lower parts of the exterior laid with polished granite and the upper curved parts decorated with mosaic tiles. The frontage is adorned with a three tier water fountain which also doubles as a reservoir for the Theatre’s internal fire hydrants and the compound embellished with a number of African arts pieces nicely displayed on some of the lawns. An 1800 KVA standby power generator for the Theatre was commissioned on 22nd September, 1998 to ensure the continuous supply of power for programmes. The building has been divided into four parts.