Giseffii on Osonye Tess Onwueme's Universality

According to Daniella Giseffii, winner of the American Book Award,

In many ways, one might see Tess Onwueme as the Ibsen of her culture; the playwright who dares to raise new issues ...for her people. These sociological reasons allow us North Americans to identify strongly with women like [Sojourner Nkrumah] in Tess Onwueme's plays...Her dramas are very universal plays for an international audience as they speak to us of basic human rights of nationality, age, sex, or race...

More recently a winner of the Martin Luther King Award for Distinguished Black Scholars/Writers, Onwueme has confirmed herself as a Nigerian writer of note, a glowing star in the firnament of dramatic art, an internationalist with universal themes for all. Reflected in the mirror of her Nigerian heritage, this playwright is to be read and enjoyed with the best contemporary drama has to offer. Her work demystifies the idea of theater as illusion, as something sacred, something we just offer for entertainment or emotional catharsis.

"I see theater as a group medium for dialogue in society. It shouldn't be that wall separating the audience from the actors on stage. That fourth wall must be broken..." [said Onwueme]


Daniella Giseffii. "Foreword" to Three Plays: An Anthology of Three Plays by Tess Onwueme. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

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