Happening Globally

For Etherton, It Is Rain Of Tributes

Tributes have continued to pour in for the late theatre scholar, Prof Michael Etherton, who died on May 13, in Ireland. Tributes from his former students and colleagues have been overwhelming. For Ahmed Parker, professor of Theatre and Performing Arts and Dean of the College of Humanities at Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, said: “His study and work on theatre for development ar ABU remains forever. May his great soul rest in peace. Goodnight, sir.” “May God bless and comfort the family and friends left behind by Michael Etherton, the great embodiment and performance expert and grant him eternal repose,” said Professor Mabel Evwierhoma of the University of Abuja. Stella Iwueke-Inimgba said: “May Michael’s soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.” According to a statement fromJames Gibbs, Etherton, who died “following a heart-attack, contributed immensely to theatre in Africa and Asia and is deeply mourned by former colleagues and students.” Gibbs said: “It will take time to assess Michael’s many contributions particularly where they concern theatre for change and impact measurement. In that assessment process the papers he deposited in the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds, will have to be examined – as will the full range of his publications, and of the many projects he undertook. “He will be particularly remembered by theatre people in Africa for his innovative work in academic contexts (at the University of Zambia and at ABU, Zaria) and, after he moved away from academia in 1988, with various International NGOs. Publications that relate to these activities include, Chikwawa Remembered: Theatre and Politics in Zambia 1968-1972, (with John Reed), The Development of African Theatre (Hutchison, 1982), Contemporary Irish Drama (Macmillan, 1988) and the wonderful, wide-ranging volume, entitled, Youth that he edited in the African Theatre series (2006). Those publications remain ground-breaking and hint at his legacy as does, in a different way, the Studio Theatre constructed at ABU.” Gibbs noted that as a teacher and practitioner, Etherton gave direction to theatre for development on two continents.

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