David Afriyie Donkor studied at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana (Dip.Th.Arts, 1991), Minnesota State University at Mankato (M.F.A.Directing, 1995; M.S Multidisciplinary Studies, 1998), and then as a Gwendolyn Carter Doctoral Fellow at Northwestern University (Ph.D.,Performance Studies, 2008).
His research areas straddle Africana theatre, performance, popular culture and folklore; it has addressed present interests such the interplay of state-cultural policy, multinational marketing strategies, urban popular theatre and a folk-trickster ethos in Ghana’s liberalizing economy; it has, also, begun to address new interests such as African migrants’ urban festivals/cultural performances in the United States, and the relationship between postcolonial nationalism and theatre architecture in West Africa. His publications have recently appeared in the journal Cultural Studies and in the newly published volume The Legacy of Efua Sutherland: Pan-African Cultural Activism. He has presented papers and led workshops at several conferences including Performance Studies International, the Association of Theatre in Higher Education, and the African Studies Associations of the U.S.A., Australasia and the Pacific.
David Donkor has adapted and directed folktales, personal narratives and literature for stage in productions such as “Spiders and Spirits: A Tale ofTwo Tricksters” (in collaboration with UC Riverside Dance Scholar/PerformerPriya Srinivasan); “Two Takes on Hurricane Katrina,” “Strange and Bitter Fruit” a memorial to victims of the 1906 Springfield Missouri lynching, and his own one-person show, “A Travelers Tale” on migration and memory. He has worked as an actor/director with the resident theatre company of the University of Ghana and with Penumbra Theatre Company in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1993 he received the Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ECRAG) Talent award for his acting role in the film “Shoeshine Boy” and for his lyrics and melody for the theme song of the same film.
Directing, Introduction to Africana Studies, and Popular Music in the African Diaspora, are courses that he has taught at Texas A&M recently.