Professor Niyi Coker to Interview Molefi Asante
‘Niyi Coker, Jr. is Full Professor & the Director of The School of Theatre, Television, and Film (TTF) at San Diego State University in California. He has served as Visiting Artistic Director to several theatre companies including: K3 at Malmo Hogskola in Sweden, the National Theatre of Nigeria, Black Box Theatre in Bermuda, Artscape in Cape Town, South Africa, and University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. He is the founding Artistic Director of the African Arts Ensemble in New York City.
Some of his plays include: Ouray, written in collaboration with the Southern Ute Tribal Council in Ignacio Colorado, and staged with Southern Ute and Native American actors. The play is based on the 19th century struggles of the Utes in Colorado, against European encroachment; Endangered Species, a play on how racism complicates family dynamics. It was commissioned and sponsored by the British Council, with a tour of England; Preemptive, a drama on Islamophobia, initially developed at the Indiana University Playwrights lab and staged at London’s West End Shaw Theatre, produced by the Z-Mirage and Company.
His Off-Broadway writing and directing credits, include, Booth! a musical on the reflections of Edwin Booths after the assassination of Lincoln (in collaboration with Barbara Harbach & Jonathan Yordy); Miriam Makeba-Mama Africa –the musical”, on the struggles and challenges of anti-apartheid singer and civil rights advocate. This musical production was made possible by grants and fellowships from the Carnegie Foundation, the USA State Department, along with permission and grand rights licenses by the ZM Makeba Trust in Johannesburg, South Africa.
His award-winning films currently screening and distributed on Amazon Prime network in the USA and Europe are; "Black Studies USA", which is a history of the controversial creation of “Black Studies” in the USA. “Pennies for the Boatman” based on Mario Farwell’s “The Seamstress of Saint Francis” won Best Screenplay at the 2012 Madrid International Film Festival. “Ota Benga – Human at the Zoo”, is the true story of an African kidnapped from the continent and destined display at the Bronx Zoo. Ota Benga premiered at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington DC. It is winner of Best Documentary film both at the London International Film Festival and the Nice International Film Festival.
He is author of the books; The Cultural Dimension of the Ori Olokun Theatre, and, Social Criticism in the Music of Fela Kuti, which have both been translated into 5 languages.
He holds a B.A in Dramatic Arts- University of Ife; M.F.A in Directing (Theatre and Film) – The City University of New York; Ph.D. in African-American Studies – Temple University, Philadelphia. He is a full member of SDC (Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers), and Associate member of the DGA (Director’s Guild of America).
Please join us for a conversation with an eminent professor and philosopher, Molefi Kete Asante.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
5:00 PM Nigeria
4:00 PM GMT
11:00 AM Austin CST
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