Stafford Arthur Ashani, (formerly Harrison) was born in Jamaica in 1953. He attended Excelsior High School, where he was introduced to theatre, and the Jamaica School of Drama. He later studied film at New York University.
His first play, The Quickie (dir. Munair Zacca) was produced at the Barn Theatre in Kingston, Jamaica in 1975. Masqueraders (dir. Stafford Harrison) opened at the Amphitheatre of the Cultural Training Centre (now the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) in 1977. Ashani also wrote Anancy and the Unsung Heroes Outwest (dir. Trevor Nairne, 1978), Foreign Mind (dir. Stafford Ashani, 1990) and Bar Jonah (dir. Henk Tjon, 1998).
He acted for film, television and the stage; and produced Reggae Strong, a television series which was broadcast on television in the US and Jamaica between 1984 and 1994. He appeared in several feature films including ‘Klash’ with Jasmine Guy and Giancarlo Esposito and along with Robert Townsend and Denzel Washington in the ‘Mighty Quinn.”
At the time of his death he was tutor in playwriting at the Jamaica School of Drama at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He died in Kingston, Jamaica in 2009. He was 55.
Mutabaruka, Jamaican poet, recalls how he and Stafford Ashani, “used to question everything. All the different belief systems, political systems, even Rastafari…”
|Playwright||Ma Maw Black Sheep||1985-86 Season|
|Director||Ma Maw Black Sheep||1985-86 Season|