Tony Adah (Esu)
is currently a PhD candidate in Theatre Arts at the University of Toronto Graduate Drama Centre. He completed a BA and an MA in theatre at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In the 1980s, he was active in Nigerian theatre, playing many major roles in plays by renowned playwrights Wole Soyinka and Femi Osofisan, as well as other African dramatists. As the artistic director of Scene One, the leading alternative theatre company in Ibadan, he directed Soulmates and Lipstick by Femi Kayode, and Face Up by Chuks Okoye, including others. In 1991, We, The Beasts, which he dramaturged and directed, won a national Association of Nigerian Authors award for best play of the year. From 1991-1998, he taught theatre at the University of Papua New Guinea, where he directed Molière’s Scoundrel Scapin, J. B. Priestly’s An Inspector Calls, and other plays. In 1996, he was invited as a distinguished director by the Drama Department of the University of Capetown, and directed Edufa by Efua Sutherland at the Arena Theatre. At the University of Toronto, he directed Wole Soyinka’s Madmen and Specialists (October 2001), and was the Cultural Consultant for the production of Things Fall Apart, based on the novel by Chinua Achebe, directed by Chuck Mike (April 2003). More recently, he played the role of the Praise Singer in AfriCan Theatre Ensemble’s production of Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman (May 2004) and Adil in Tawfik al-Hakim’s comedy, Fate of a Cockroach (April 2005). He served as assistant director in the Ensemble’s creation and production of Market of Tales (2005). Currently exploring the medium of film, he recently played a lead role as Thomas in Terrance Odette’s feature film Sleeping Dogs screened at the Toronto Film Festival 2006.