Obsidian Theatre Company

Philip Akin

Philip Akin has been acting and directing for over 40 years. In 2000, he was a founding member of Obsidian Theatre, Canada’s leading black theatre company, and has served as its Artistic Director since 2006. In this role, he has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities and guidance for emerging artists. In 2002, he was part of the team that launched the Obsidian Mentor/Apprentice Program. Since then he has created the Obsidian Playwrights Unit, Associates Program, Darktown: Black Ties and Director’s Initiative.


His directing credits include Men in White (Factory Theatre) The Humans (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Passing Strange (Obsidian & Musical Stage Company) Ruined (Obsidian & Nightwood), Wilberforce Hotel (Blyth Festival), Whipping Man and Driving Miss Daisy (Harold Green Jewish Theatre),Topdog UnderdogThe Mountaintop and “Master Harold”…and the Boys, Of Marriage and Men (Shaw Festival), Toronto the Good & El Paso (Factory Theatre),  Intimate Apparel (Citadel Theatre, Canadian Stage, Obsidian Theatre), and Black MedeaBorn Ready and Pusha Man (Obsidian Theatre).

He is currently the Vice-President of the Board for the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (2009 to present) and has served on juries for Theatre Ontario, Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.




Evie Nomination (Winnipeg) -The Humans – for Best Director (2018)**

Dora Nominations for Best Director in the General Theatre Division 2008, 2011, 2012 {winning in 2012 Topdog Underdog}*, two nominations 2017 {winning in 2017 for Master Harold…and the Boys)

Toronto Theatre Critics Award: Best Director (2017) Master Harold…and the Boys

My Entertainment Award: Best Director- Venus’ Daughter (2016)

Merritt Award Nomination (Halifax) for Outstanding Direction: Intimate Apparel (2012)**


William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life (2014)

Life Membership Award from Canadian Actors Equity Association for outstanding contributions to the performing arts within our jurisdiction. (2014)

Playwright’s Guild of Canada Women’s Caucus Bra d’Or Award for supporting and promoting the work of Canadian women playwrights (2011)

Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award (2011)

Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts Silver Ticket Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts (2010)

The Grid’s #2 2013 Theatre MVP

The Toronto Sun Performing Artist of the Year (2011)



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