Author: Stephen Weir | Date: 16 January 2020
The Obsidian Theatre, Canada’s leading culturally diverse theatre company is now going through a major change. After twenty years, the theatre’s founder and CEO has retired. He has been replaced by a young African Canadian director who will take over the running of the company in August.
Philip Akin has been acting and directing for over 40 years. In 2000, he was a founding member of Obsidian Theatre, Canada’s leading black theatre company, and has served as its Artistic Director since 2006.
Earlier this week Obsidian announced that Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu is the new Artistic Director of the Obsidian Theatre. In a press release issued by Obsidian Ms. Otu “was raised in Kenya and Victoria, BC. She is a critically acclaimed Toronto-based stage director with over a decade of professional experience and is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Dora Nominated experimental theatre company IFT (It’s A Freedom Thing) Theatre.”
Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu will join the company after directing a string of successful productions, including: Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape, Obsidian Theatre/Soulpepper; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Trout Stanley, Factory Theatre. All of these plays have been reviewed by The Caribbean Camera and can be found on our website.
“I am deeply honoured to be the next leader of this incredible company!” she said. “Over the course of my career I have been passionate about creating work that explores the depth and breadth of the Black voice in its many artistic dialects, and having an opportunity to continue to do this within the context of Obsidian is such a gift.”
She is the recipient of the Artistic Director’s Award (Soulpepper), the Pauline McGibbon Award, the Mallory Gilbert Protege Award, a Harold Award, and has been twice nominated for the John Hirsch Directing Award. She is a graduate of Soulpepper Academy, York University and the University of Toronto, and an alumnus of Obsidian Theatre’s Mentor/Apprenticeship Program.