Ethiopian theatre legend Abate Mekuria passes away

by Mamo Gebrehiwot on July 23, 2016

Ethiopian theatre legend Abate Mekuria

Ethiopian theatre legend Abate Mekuria

Abate Mekuria, a renowned Ethiopian director, choreographer, and producer who worked in film, television, and theatre passed away this week of prostate cancer at the age of 76. Abate was one of the few directors who made a real impact on Ethiopian theatre.

Some of his prominent works include, ‘Hahu Besidist Wor’, ‘Abugida Keyiso’, ‘Melekte Wozader’, ‘Yementa Enat’, ‘Mekdim, ‘Gamo’ and ‘Alula Aba Nega’. He gave rise to Emperor Tewodros II with his unique insight and direction. Most of the plays he directed were written by Tsegaye Gebremedhin, and are full of long speeches in a highly allusive and extremely educated manner. Abate’s talent was to transform these long speeches in a captivating presentable manner. According to the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, Abate has a good control of crowds and his larger-than-life direction suits both Tsegaye’s plays and the vast stage. “The adaptations of Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet have endured in public memory not only for the beauty of the verse but also for the quality of the dramatic performances that they gave rise to under the direction of Abate Mekuria,” the encyclopedia read.

One of the prominent works of Mengistu Lemma, ‘Yalacha Gabcha’ (Marriage of Unequal) was also directed by Abate.

In addition to stage plays, Abate was able to experiment with outdoor spaces. One of his plays, Oedipus the King, was staged around a fountain commonly known as the kissing pool on the grounds of Addis Ababa University.

Source: The Reporter

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Posted by on July 24, 2016. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Ethiopian theatre legend Abate Mekuria passes away

  1. Mousse Ayele

    August 10, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    You lit up the sky with your imagination and artistry. The Ethiopian TV of yesteryear has you to thank for those magnificent rendering of song and dance – not the type we see today, all jerking and grimacing into the camera. You played to the audience, as if they only mattered, NOT the so called stars that know not their origins. The TV when you were there did not have either the Blue Screen, nor the Green as background. Just the Fourth Floor Municipality Building, all wrap-around black curtains. And you made hay of it all.
    Thanks, Abe. They were GOOD times with you in them.