Osita Okagbue

Osita’s research interests are in African theatre and performance, Caribbean theatre and postcolonial theatre.

Staff details

Osita Okagbue




Theatre and Performance


o.okagbue (@gold.ac.uk)

Professor Osita Okagbue holds a BA, MA, MA and PhD in Drama and Theatre from the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and the University of Leeds respectively.

He has taught African Theatre, Cross Cultural Studies in Performance, Performance Theory & Practice at the universities of Nigeria at Nsukka and Plymouth at Exmouth.

At Goldsmiths he teaches African Theatre History, Postcolonial Theatre, Culture and Performance, Analytic Vocabularies, and Modernisms and Postmodernity.

He is the founding President of the African Theatre Association and founding Editor of African Performance Review (APR). He is also an Associate Editor for Routledge's Theatres of the World Series, as well as being Editorial Adviser Platform (an e-journal). Professor Okagbue serves on the Board of Governors of Collective Artists, a SouthEast London-based community theatre company support by the Arts Council.

Keynote lectures

The National Theatre and Development, a Keynote Lecture at National Theatre Kampala at the Uganda National Cultural Centre Golden Jubliee Celebrations for the National Theatre Kampala at 50 on 3-4 December 2009

Dreams Deferred: National Theatres and National Development in Africa, a keynote Lecture at Swansea Metropolitan University for African Theatre Association Annual Conference, Performative Inter-Actions: Innovation, Creativity & Enterprise in African Theatre, 21-23 July 2011

Publications and research outputs


Okagbue, Osita. 2019. Playing with Our Ancestors: Culture and Communal Memory in Igbo Masquerade Theatre. African Performance Review, ISSN 1750-4848

Okagbue, Osita. 2019. Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics after Apartheid. By Louise Meintjes, with photographs by T. J. Lemon. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2017. Pp. xiv + 338 + 142 illus. $94.95 Hb; $26.95 Pb. Theatre Research International, 44(1), pp. 108-109. ISSN 0307-8833

Okagbue, Osita. 2015. The Kwagh-hir Theater: A Weapon for Social Action. By Iyorwuese Hagher. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2014. Pp. xxx + 256. $80 Hb; $34.99 Pb. Theatre Research International, 40(2), pp. 224-225. ISSN 0307-8833


Okagbue, Osita and Kasule, Samuel. 2021. Theatre and Performance in East Africa. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780367740894

Okagbue, Osita. 2012. African Theatres and Performances. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415540858

Okagbue, Osita and Matzke, Christine, eds. 2009. African Theatre: Diasporas. Woodbridge, UK and Rochester, NY: James Currey. ISBN 9781847015013, 1847015018

Book Section

Okagbue, Osita. 2021. In the Prison of their Skins: Performing Race in Caribbean Theatre. In: Tiziana Morosetti and Osita Okagbue, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Race. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 239-254. ISBN 9783030439569

Morosetti, Tiziana and Okagbue, Osita. 2021. Introduction. In: Tiziana Morosetti and Osita Okagbue, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Race. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-17. ISBN 9783030439569

Okagbue, Osita. 2014. Progenies of Idemili: Ogonna Agu and I. In: Charles Nwadigwe; Molinta Enendu and Canice Nwosu, eds. Metaphors and Climax: Reminiscences in Honour of Ogonna Agu. London: Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd, viii-xiii. ISBN 9781909112469

Edited Book

Morosetti, Tiziana and Okagbue, Osita, eds. 2021. The Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Race. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9783030439569

Okagbue, Osita and Igweonu, Kene, eds. 2014. Performative Inter-Actions in African Theatre 1, 2 and 3. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 9781443856119

Okagbue, Osita and Igweonu, Kene, eds. 2013. Diaspora Representations and the Interweaving of Cultures: Performative Inter-Actions in African Theatre Volume 1. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5378-1

Edited Journal

Okagbue, Osita, ed. 2007. African Performance Review, African Performance Review, . 1753-5964


IgboConference, Igbo Conference and Okagbue, Osita. 2018. Playing With Our Ancestors: Culture and Communal Memory in Igbo Masquerade Theatre. Osita Okagbue.

Research Interests

Osita's main research interests are in African theatre and performance, Caribbean theatre, postcolonial theatre, theatre-for-development. He has previously held a Leverhulme Trust Research Leave and AHRB Small Grant for his research entitled 'Culture, Identity and Politics in Contemporary African and Caribbean Theatre' 2001-2.

Other grants include a British Academy Larger Research Grant, an AHRB Small Grant and a Research Leave for his research project on indigenous African performances and theatre entitled ‘African Theatres and Performances’ between 2003 and 2005, now published as African Theatres and Performances by Routledge (2007).

He completed work on two books between 2008 and 2009; a single-authored book, Culture and Identity in African and Caribbean Theatre (Adonis and Abbey Publishers, 2009) and a co-edited book with Christine Matzke, African Theatre: Diasporas (James Currey, 2009).

Professor Okagbue was invited to direct Mami Wata and the Black Atlantic, a community performance/ritual retracing of the trans-Atlantic slave trade sponsored by the Heritage Lottery in Bristol, Plymouth and Exeter June-August 2007 to mark 200 years of Abolition of trans-Atlantic Slavery, and Black Man Don’t Float for Sameboat Productions.

I am currently, the Associate Editor for Africa/Middle East, World Scenography, a three-book and an internet database project. Co-investigator, Beyond the Linear Narrative: Fractured Narratives in Writing and Performance in the Postcolonial Era’, an AHRC funded three-year research project.