Dr. Glenda Gill Remembered

Dr. Glenda Gill was professor emerita of drama at Michigan Technological University and a prominent lecturer and researcher on the history of African-American theatre. She passed away January 27, 2018 at the age of 78. Born in Tennessee and raised in Alabama, Dr. Gill received her BS from Alabama A&M University, her MA from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her PhD in English and Theatre from the University of Iowa. She taught at institutions including Alabama A&M, University of Texas at El Paso, Tuskegee University, Winston Salem State University, and Simpson College prior to her appointment as professor at Michigan Technological University in 1990. She taught at Michigan Tech until her retirement in 2006.

Dr. Glenda Gill

Dr. Glenda Gill

In an interview with the American Society for Theatre Research, Dr. Gill described her work as investigating “the dynamics of race, gender and class and how they intersect with the African-American in the performing arts.” She was the author of several books and articles on African-American theatre, including the books No Surrender! No Retreat! African American Pioneer Performers of Twentieth-Century American Theatre and White Grease Paint on Black Performers: A Study of the Federal Theatre, 1935-1939. She received a number of awards including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution.

A longtime friend of Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr., Dr. Gill (far left) joined him, family and friends at the Ohio Statehouse when Dr. Hale (far right) was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame in October 2010.

Dr. Hale (far right) was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Dr. Gill with Dr. Hale (far right) when he was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State holds the Glenda Gill Collection, which consists of materials related to Dr. Gill’s research including notes, photographs, and recordings and transcriptions of interviews with African-American theatre actors.