African Women Playwrights Network Holds Maiden Conference

The School of Performing Arts (SPA) in collaboration with the African Women Playwrights Network (AWPN) has hosted the maiden conference of African Women Playwrights. The conference was on the theme, ‘Tackling Taboo Topics in African Female Writing’.

Welcoming the participants at the opening ceremony, Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori, Provost, College of Humanities, noted with excitement that the maiden edition of AWPN was being held at the University of Ghana. He assured the organisers of the Conference of the University’s continuous support.

Prof. Daniel Frimpong Ofori

Prof. Awo Mana Asiedu, Acting Dean, School of Performing Arts, said the purpose of the Conference was to celebrate ten (10) African women playwrights who emerged winners of the AWPN competition. She noted that the most exciting part of the conference was the continental engagement component. Prof. Asiedu encouraged women playwrights in Ghana not to be content with only publishing their plays through theatre productions. She expressed appreciation to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) made up of Dr. Sarah Dorgbadzi, Head of Department, Theatre Arts; Dr. Ekua Ekumah, Artistic Director, Abibigromma and Dr. Adjoa Arhin, Head, Department of Music.

Prof. Awo Mana Asiedu

Prof. Yvette Hutchison, University of Warwick and Head of the AWPN Steering Committee, in an address gave a background to the formation of the African Women Playwrights Network. She stated that together with other researchers, they set out to find new creative works by African women playwrights, writers and directors of the 21st Century and discovered that large volumes of women’s works were unheard of and unpublished. Thus, the AWPN sought to create dialogue spaces for small groups of women to share their creativity and experiences. She expressed appreciation to all other playwright groups and collaborators for their support.

Dr. Tosin Tume, Director, AWPN, also expressed appreciation to the LOC and the University of Ghana for the support. She announced the winners of the competition and was hopeful that the conference will help participants build on their networks.

Dr. Tosin Tume

Earlier in brief remarks, Mrs. Lydia Anowa Nyako-Danquah, Director of Academic Affairs who represented the Registrar, Mrs. Emelia Agyei-Mensah congratulated the participants and winners of the competition. She urged the organisers of conference to keep up the good work.

The opening ceremony was interspersed with Seprewa and palm wine music by the Legon Palmwine Band. As part of the conference, there were workshops and play readings.

In attendance were Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, former Director of Institute of African Studies (IAS); Prof. Samuel Ntewusu, Director, Institute of African Studies, faculty and staff of SPA and IAS.