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Hill, Errol Gaston, 1921-2003



  • Existence: 1921 - 2003


Born August 5, 1921 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Errol Gaston Hill received his dramatic training in England, obtaining his Graduate Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, in 1951. After a stint as announcer and actor for the B.B.C., Hill returned home and from 1953-1958, worked as a Tutor in Drama and Radio at the University of the West Indies. After receiving fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Theatre Guild of America, Hill earned a BA from Yale University in 1962, as well as an MFA in Playwriting, returning to the University of the West Indies as a Tutor in the Creative Arts. He published his first full-length play, Man Better Man, in 1964.

In 1968, after earning his DFA from Yale (1966), and after two years of teaching drama at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Richmond College, CUNY, Hill became an Associate Professor of Drama at Dartmouth College and was promoted to full professor the following year. He acted as an advisor to the Afro-American Society, taught black theatre courses, acted as the college's first affirmative action officer from 1973-1975, and for many years was a freshman advisor. In 1976, Hill was appointed John D. Willard Professor of Drama and Oratory.

In addition to his teaching duties at Dartmouth, Errol Hill was very active in several professional organizations. He was elected Chairman of the American Theatre Association's Black Theatre Project in 1970, edited its Bulletin of Black Theatre from 1971-1975, and was a member of ATA's College of Fellows. He was given the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History in 1985. Professor Hill was also a member of the American Society for Theatre Research, the Black Theatre Network, the New England Theatre Conference (which awarded him a Regional Citation in 1980), the Caribbean Studies Association, and other professional theatre organizations.

Over the course of his career, Professor Hill published many articles, plays, essays, monographs and books. His published plays included 'Man Better Man' (1964), 'Dance Bongo' (1966), and 'Strictly Matrimony' (1971). Hill also edited several volumes of black and Caribbean plays, as well as authoring many articles on Caribbean drama. Major books include 'The Trinidad Carnival: Mandate for a National Theatre' (1972), 'Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors' (1984), 'The Jamaican Stage, 1655-1900: Profile of a Colonial Theatre' (1992) and 'A History of African American Theatre' (published in 2003 with co-author James Hatch). Professor Hill retired from Dartmouth College in 1989; in 1991, he received the Presidential Medal for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement from the College. Professor Hill died on September 16, 2003.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Errol Hill papers May Be Restricted

Identifier: ML-77
Date(s): 1960 to 2002
Abstract Errol G. Hill, actor, director, scholar and teacher of African American and Caribbean music and drama. Contains professional and personal correspondence, magazines, newspapers, playbills, manuscript drafts for books, undergraduate and graduate school records, scripts, brochures, article clippings, lectures, conference literature, syllabi, notes, diplomas, reports, posters, theatrical scores, photographs, slides, phonograph records, cassette tapes, video cassettes, reel to reel audio tapes,...

Oral history interview with Errol Hill

Identifier: DOH-12
Date(s): 1996-09-20
Scope and Contents The oral history interview of Errol Hill is comprised of audiocassette recordings and an indexed transcript of the recordings. The interview was conducted by Jane L. Carroll during September 1996. The entire interview runs for approximately two hours and includes the memories of Professor Hill and his wife, Grace Hill, of the climate for Black people living in Hanover and working at Dartmouth in 1968. They speak of Presidents Kemeny and McLaughlin and the events that took place during...
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