First ever online network for female African playwrights launched

21 October, 2015

Researchers at the University of Warwick have launched the first ever online network for female African playwrights, the AWPN (African Women’s Playwright Network).

Launched earlier this year at the Women’s Playwright International Conference (WPIC) in Cape-Town, the new online social network enables artists to promote themselves, collaborate and discuss issues relevant to their industry- while at the same time connecting with researchers, programmers and other interested parties on the African continent and beyond. 

Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick (UK), and Amy Jeptha, playwright-lecturer in the Drama department at University of Cape-Town (SA), have created this new social networking application using funding from the Arts Heritage Research Council (AHRC).

The application, built by Every1Mobile, allows increased accessibility as it has been designed to work on any device with access to the internet rather than smart phone technologies that are not always available in Africa.

The application allows artists to create profiles for themselves and their work, to increase their visibility and connectivity nationally and internationally. It is hoped that this will result in exposure for female African artists that has previously been impossible, while facilitating new and exciting collaborations.

AWPN also highlights theatrical events and festivals within regions of Africa each month; allowing interested parties to see what is happening and where in Africa easily.

The application facilitates artists’ engagement with one another, researchers and others using forums. Discussions topics are posted on a regular basis focussing on industry issues. Current discussions include performance and humanity – the efficacy of walking as a performance strategy and integrating disabled performers into shows. It is hoped that these forums will facilitate dialogue and collaboration between artists and others on key issues that inform and impact our understanding of the lived experiences of contemporary women in Africa.

Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Warwick (UK) said,

"This application will help female African playwrights to promote themselves in new and interesting ways. I hope collaborations that will occur through this tool will significantly enrich the performing arts and theatre coming out of the African continent and diasporas. The number of people using the application is exciting and the community is growing every day."

Notes for editors:

The AWPN application can be accessed at the following locations:

AWPN site

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