Theatre-making is a process-based form; a discovery through collaboration and self-reflection made more potent by observing, paying attention to and incorporating the world around us.
In this workshop, five facilitators from different backgrounds and experiences come together to unpack their exciting styles of creating with others. Using live guided activities, participants will experience the powerful impact of East Africa’s storytelling and theatre-making techniques. Examples include prompt-based devising work, character-building using otherworldly creatures, while using breath to search and listen for “story” in the body.


Esther Kamba

Esther Kamba is a Kenyan-Canadian creative based in Kenya, she operates on multilayered platforms as a director, dramaturge, cultural agitator, feminist provocateur, mentor and a mother. She is a co-founder of the Kenyan experimental multidisciplinary artistic company Falme Arts that started its operations in 2016. She is also a co-founder of Directors Incubator, a Kenyan initiative company that hopes to expand and grow the importance of theatre directors in Kenya. Directing theatrical masterpieces has been her mission as a storyteller and she values facilitating healing by authentically and honestly telling meaningful and impactful stories. She believes in the power of the craft of theatre as a medium that can provoke dialogue, challenge existing narratives or stereotypes and transform communities. Esther is a graduate of the Canadian Prestigious University, York University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in theatre. The presence of a spiritual intervention, a form of collective liberation and an exploration of history through a lens of intersectionalities centers her work around the subject of African theatrical versions of performances. Esther’s experimental methods of deconstructing formats of performance and text, to find a deeper understanding of humanity, coupled with her focus on scenography have catapulted her to an award winning position in the Kenyan contemporary theatre scene

Laura Ekumbo

Laura Ekumbo is a multimedia storyteller. She has performed poetry, acted, sang, danced, spoken, and hosted events on over 40 stages in 5 countries across 3 continents. She is the L in The LAM Sisterhood, a story company that fills the world with stories for African women to feel seen, heard, and beloved.
Laura’s work explores complex perspectives and is governed by empathy and inquisition. She loves chips, celestial exploration, the ocean, and potted plants.

Sitawa Namwalie

Is an award-winning Kenyan poet, playwright and performer known for her unique dramatized poetry performances which combine poetry and traditional Kenyan music. “Cut off My Tongue,” her first performance was performed in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and at the Hay Festival 2009. In 2010 “Cut off my Tongue” was selected by the Sundance Theatre Lab in the first East African Sundance Lab held on Manda Island. Sitawa’s growing body of work includes short stories, dramatized poetry productions and plays, “Homecoming” (2010), “Silence is a Woman”, (2014), “Black Maria on Koinange Street” and “Room of Lost Names” (2015), “Taking my Father Home” (2020), “Escape” the Musical (Ongoing).
Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies and publications including; “Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets”. Anthonia C. Kalu, Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, and Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, editors 2013.
Sitawa holds a BSC in Botany and Zoology from the University of Nairobi and an MA in Environmental Studies from Clark University, Massachusetts, USA. Sitawa represented Kenya in tennis and hockey in her youth.

Mumbi Kaigwa

is an actor, writer, producer and director of theatre, film and TV. Starting in elementary school, she first appeared in a television production of Wole Soyinka’s “The Strong Breed” at 10 years old. Between 1988 and 1999, Mũmbi worked for the United Nations in Nairobi. Since leaving the U.N. she’s devoted her life to the arts, working all over East Africa and using her original blend of performance art and art therapy to address social themes, such as conflict and violence, health and drugs, history and culture, as well as conducting community-driven peace-building workshops throughout Kenya and in Tanzania.

Nyokabi Macharia

Nyokabi Macharia is an MA Music Theatre graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama graduate. She is a stage & screen actor and musical theatre performer. Her credits include Zawadi in the Kenyan sitcom Ma Empress, Giraffe in the Off-Broadway production of Tinga Tinga Tales, lead Voice in Safaricom’s Twende Tukiuke campaign song, Lowenna in her one woman show; Actors Anonymous which she also Executive Produced and Yasmin in Selina which she is currently on. She also made her directorial debut with a filmed female adaptation of Frankenstein and has since practised directing through various online projects facilitated by Shorts From Africa, where she is co-founder. Nyokabi enjoys storytelling through un-conventional ways and prides herself in the experimenting nature of her style.