EDGAR NKOSI WHITEBy Dr Alda TerraccianoEdgar Nkosi White was born in the Caribbean island of Montserrat on 4 April 1947 and brought to the United States in 1952, living in Spanish/English speaking Harlem, New York. He was educated at Yale University and New York Theological Seminary where he respectively completed his studies in Drama and Theology. At the age of eighteen his first play, The Mummer’s Play (1965) was produced by Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York.
According to the publication the success of this production, which revealed his talent as a playwright, convinced the producer to stage his next four plays, including The Crucificado a drama set within the Hispanic community in Harlem, New York.Disillusioned with the Church, Edgar White’s interest in the relationship between man and God began to be increasingly transferred in his writings.
By the mid-1970’s he had written and published three novels, fourteen of his plays had been produced in New York, six had been published in two collections, and he had been appointed Artistic Director of the Yardbird Theatre Company of Harlem. Together with his travels to the Caribbean, he also paid several visits to England (in 1975 Lament for Rastafari , one of his most striking plays, was produced in London under the direction of Rufus Collins). Following the production in 1981of Les Femme Noir at the Keskidee Arts Centre, he then decided to move to London where for the next six years most of his world premirres were staged.
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