For the third edition of the its new online event AWFLink Up titled Playwriting – Nuts and Bolts, the Abuja Writers Forum features four award-winning playwrights drawn across the globe for the semi-workshop on May 30, 2021 via Zoom from 8-10pm Nigerian Time.
The playwrights are Soji Cole (Nigeria), Catherine Filloux (USA), Mark Ralph-Bowman (UK) and Paul Ugbede (Nigeria).
Soji Cole who writes drama, short stories and film scripts and tries his “hands on poetry as well”, is an alumnus of University of Ibadan and a visiting fellow at University of Roehampton Canada where he AWFis working on a second PhD.
In October 2018, Cole’s play Embers topped 89 entries that qualified for the 2018 Nigeria Prize for Literature. The play explores the impact of religious and ethnic violence in living conditions in Northern Nigeria.
His recent ‘turbulence’ has generated fierce discussion between a film director/cinematographer from the United Kingdom and a philosopher from the United States.
Cole is fascinated by knowledge, and gets seduced whenever he hears or read s things that seem to come from the fount of knowledge generation.
Catherine Filloux has been writing award-winning plays on human rights and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her plays have been produced around the U.S. and internationally.
Catherine has been honored with the 2019 Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship; the 2017 Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre; and the 2015 Planet Activist Award.
Filloux is the librettist for four operas, produced nationally and internationally; her new musical Welcome to the Big Dipper is a 2018 National Alliance for Musical Theatre finalist.
Recent plays include: White Savior at Pygmalion Productions in Salt Lake City, Utah; her web drama about deportation and children, “turning your body into a compass” livestreamed by CultureHub, and “whatdoesfreemean?” produced in New York City by Nora’s Playhouse. Filloux’s plays have been widely published and anthologized.
She received her M.F.A. at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Dramatic Writing Program and her French Baccalaureate in Philosophy, with Honors, in Toulon, France.
She is a co- founder of Theatre Without Borders; and the first Art & Peace-building Scholar at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego; as well as an alumna of New Dramatists. She has taught playwriting at many universities and colleges including Vassar College, Wesleyan University and Bennington College.
Filloux has served as a speaker/panelist at playwriting, human rights conferences and organizations around the world.
Mark Ralph-Bowman has worked in Uganda, Nigeria (Bayero University, Kano) and the UK, generating writing and performance opportunities for people of all ages.
In both Uganda and Nigeria he promoted work by young writers and directed shows ranging from Shakespeare for the British Council to Sizwe Bansi is Dead to touring the Agit-prop production The Project. In the UK he has worked in all aspects of performance with people of all ages.
His own plays for adults and young people have been performed in Nigeria, Birmingham UK [one winning a BBC sponsored new writing award], Manchester and Oxford. With You Always, got Arts Council and Lottery funding for its development. Recent short plays have been performed at the Oxford Playhouse, the Pegasus Theatre, Oxford and the Cherwell Boathouse.
He completed a project for Film Oxford directing a play by one of their Shadowlight Arts at the Cornerstone, Didcot and mentored the writer in the development of a new play which had a professional performance in 2018.
Paul Ugbede, anchor of the event, is a playwriting product of the University of Jos. He has been using his plays to tell the African story and interrogate social issues with a view to proffering solutions.
A fellow of the Royal Theatre Playwriting Residency and former executive director, International Centre for Playwriting Development in Africa, Ugbede’s play Our Son the Minister won the Beeta Play Competition in 2016.
Those willing to get background material for the event including works by the featured playwrights can send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Zoom details for the event are – Meeting ID: 817 8522 3129
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