Before coming to the United States, Anthony Graham-White studied acting in London for three years. He received his BA from Harvard College, magna cum laude, and his PhD from Stanford University. He was also a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Professor “Tony” Graham-White joined the faculty at UIC in the fall of 1976 as the Head of the Department of Speech and Theatre in the College of Arts and Sciences. During his 10 years as Head, the department changed its name to Communication and Theatre, and Professor Graham-White helped establish a partnership with Chicago’s historic Free Street Theatre (FST), providing UIC students with real-world experience and credit for classes for working in FST productions and classes. In addition to serving as Head, he served as Director of Graduate Studies (1991–2001), and Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies (2001–2006).
Through the years, Professor Graham-White taught graduate courses as well as very popular undergraduate courses including the very large enrollment “Introduction to Theatre;” and he directed many notable productions for the main stage—among them Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Widows, The Beggar’s Opera, The Mandrake, The Merchant, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Woyzeck. He called himself a “restless scholar” and, in addition to serving for a time as editor of the Educational Theatre Journal, Professor Graham-White produced anthologies for use by his students, and published two books, The Drama of Black Africa (Samuel French, 1974) and Punctuation and its Dramatic Value in Shakespearean Drama (U of Delaware Press, 1995). Tony remained a beloved member of the faculty through his retirement in 2008. In retirement, he finished the research and writing for another book about traditional theatre around the world. Professor Graham-White died January 8, 2019, and is fondly remembered by students and colleagues.