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A festschrift in honour of Ukala @70


Professors Samuel Chinedum Ukala

Distinguished professor of Theatre Arts, Samuel Chinedun Ukala, will clock 70 on April 18, 2018. The celebrated playwright, poet, short story writer, actor, teacher, theorist, director, anthologist, historian, and administrator is an alumnus of the famous University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he obtained his first degree in English in 1977, seven years after the bloody Nigerian civil war. From 1983 to 1986, Ukala nestled at the University of Ibadan for postgraduate degrees, MA and PhD in Dramaturgy.

The prolific and erudite scholar of Theatre Studies began his teaching career in 1985, as Lecturer 11 at Bendel State University, now Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma. Ukala became a professor of theatre arts and drama in 1955. He joined Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, in 2001, where he has functioned as its Head of Department of Theatre Arts, Dean of Faculty of Arts (2003-2006), Public Orator, and Provost of its Asaba satellite campus, Anwai (2007-2010). Ukala, a pioneer chairman of Delta State chapter of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), held sway as president, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA).

In 2014, his play, Iredi War (2014) won him The Nigerian Prize for Literature, sponsored by Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG). In 2016, he was decorated a Fellow of Nigerian Academy of Letters (FNAL). In deed, Ukala, who delivered his inaugural lecture, ‘African Theatre: Beast of No Gender’ in 2007, is a colossus of the African drama heritage, and it’s imperative to reappraise him and his works, as he ambles into the famous Club of Literary Septuagenarians (CLS).


To celebrate the life and times, the polyphonic creative oeuvre and scholarly contributions of Ukala, the doyen of African theatre at 70, ANA, Delta State chapter, in collaboration with DELSU’s Department of Theatre Arts, are planning a festschrift in his honour with the central theme, “Performance Aesthetics in African Theatre.”

Thus, this is a call on scholars, teachers and students of African literature to send in well-researched essays on any of the following sub-themes: Ukala’s Directorial Aesthetics, Ukala the Playwright, Ukala as a Critic, Ukala as a Performance Poet, Folkism and New Directions in African Theatre, Folkist Traditions in the African Cinema, Stage and Screen: Similarities and Contrasts, Nollywood: Bridging the Town and Gown Divide, Performance Aesthetics in a Depressed Economy, New Directions in African Performance Aesthetics, New Trends in African Playwriting, Challenges of Scenic Design in the African Theatre, Technological Innovations in the Contemporary African Stage, Professional and Educational Theatre: Where is the meeting point, Novel Approaches to Managing Educational Theatre.

The sub-themes are by no means exhaustive, as contributors are at liberty to address any other relevant themes related to Ukala and his writings. All contributions must be in British English, essays of not more than 15 pages in length, including cover page, illustrations, notes and works cited and should have an abstract of not more than 250 words.

All essays should be sent as MS Word attachment to not later than October 31, 2017. For enquiries, Dr. Martins Tugbokorowei with 08035724967 and Dr. Chukwuma Anyanwu with 08035803550 can be reached.Here is another opportunity, platform to celebrate the literary eminence and great accomplishments of Professor Samuel Chinedu Ukala!

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Samuel Chinedun Ukala
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