Nigerian playwright, Femi Osofisan wins Thalia Prize 2016


One of Nigeria’s most nota­ble literary scholars, Pro­fessor Femi Osofisan, has bagged the highly coveted Thalia Prize for 2016. The announcement of Osofisan, a playwright, stage di­rector and poet among others as the winner of the prize was made by the Executive Committee of the International Association of The­atre Critics (IATC/AICT) days ago.
Osofisan’s feat regarding the Thalia Prize, which is meant to highlight the works of those who have helped critics around the globe to understand new ways of seeing and appreciating the per­forming arts worldwide, was made known by the President of IATC-Nigeria, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura.
According to Dandaura, Oso­fisan won the award for his ex­traordinary career as critic, schol­ar, playwright and spokesman for artistic freedom in Nigeria and for his outspoken criticism of artistic repression across the African con­tinent. With the feat, the prolific author and teacher has become the first African and Black liter­ary scholar to win the award. The 2016 Thalia Prize will be presented to Osofisan during the IATC Con­gress in Belgrade later this year.
One of Osofisan’s most popular plays, Once Upon Four Robbers, is taught in numerous universities around the world and the play­wright is already widely antholo­gized.
Also regarded as one of the most practical theatre directors around, his works have been staged at the Guthrie and other major theatres in countries like the United States, Germany, the U.K., Sri Lanka, Canada and China apart from his native Nigeria. An author credited with over 50 plays, he served on the pioneer Editorial Board of Lagos-based The Guardian Newspaper and continues to be a leading light on the literary and theatre scene in Nigeria.


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