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.
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
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.
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. 2009. Progress and Utopia in Bode Sowande's Babylon Trilogy. African Performance Review, 3(1), pp. 100-112. ISSN 1753-5964
Okagbue, Osita. 2008. Deviants and Outcasts: Power and Politics in Hausa Bori Performances. New Theatre Quarterly, 24(3), pp. 270-280. ISSN 0266-464X
Okagbue, Osita. 2008. Images and Memories of Home: African Video Movies in the Diaspora. African Performance Review, 2(1), pp. 43-57. ISSN 1753-5964
Okagbue, Osita. 2007. Through Other Eyes and Voices: Women in Koteba and Mmonwu Performances. African Performance Review, 1(2-3), pp. 114-129. ISSN 1753-5964
Okagbue, Osita. 2006. HIV/AIDS Prevention and Theatre: Devising a Culturally Appropriate Theatre-for-Development for Africa. African Renaissance, 3(4), pp. 149-162. ISSN 1744-2532
Okagbue, Osita. 2002. A Drama of their Lives: Theatre-for-development in Africa. Contemporary Theatre Review, 12(1-2), pp. 79-92. ISSN 10486801
Okagbue, Osita. 1997. 'The Strange and the Familiar: Interculturalism in African and Caribbean Theatre. Theatre Research International, 22(2), pp. 120-129. ISSN 0307-8833
Okagbue, Osita. 1997. 'When the Dead Return: Play and Seriousness in African Masked Performances'. South African Theatre Journal, 11(1), pp. 89-108. ISSN 1013-7548
Okagbue, Osita. 2009. Culture and Identity in African and Caribbean Theatre. London: Adonis & Abbey Publishers. ISBN 978-1-905068-60-9
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
Adeyemi, Sola. 2013. When Drama Comes A-Calling: Re-assessing Femi Osofisan’s Dramatic Ideology. In: Kene Igweonu and Osita Okagbue, eds. Performative Inter-Actions in African Theatre 3: Making Space, Rethinking Drama & Theatre in Africa. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 144-157. ISBN 9781443856119
Okagbue, Osita. 2004. Surviving the Crossing: Theatre in the African Diaspora. In: Martin Banham, ed. A History of Theatre in Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 430-447. ISBN 0521808138
Okagbue, Osita. 1998. 'Process or Product: Theories and Practices of Theatre-for-Development in Africa. In: , ed. African Theatre for Development. Exeter: Intellect. ISBN 978-1871516777
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
Okagbue, Osita and Igweonu, Kene, eds. 2013. Innovation, Creativity & Social Change: Performative Inter-Actions in African Theatre 2. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5380-4
Okagbue, Osita and Igweonu, Kene, eds. 2013. Making Space, Rethinking Drama and Theatre in Africa: Performative Inter-Actions in African Theatre Volume 3. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-5250-0
IgboConference, Igbo Conference and Okagbue, Osita. 2018. Playing With Our Ancestors: Culture and Communal Memory in Igbo Masquerade Theatre. Osita Okagbue.