On March 31st, Toto Kisaku presented A Voice from the Congo. Kisaku, a theater director, actor, set designer and producer from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has traveled the world sharing his story of his life growing up in the DRC. His talk also touched on his socially conscious theatre work, and his point of view on the cost of freedom.
Kisaku was selected in 2003 among the young artists of Kinshasa by Jacques Livchine and Philip Boulay to represent Congo in the 20th edition at the Limoges festival and to perform in two pieces by Bernard M. Koltes. Kisaku was also in the French version of “Topdog / Underdog” by Suzan L. Parks at the Forum de Blanc Mesnil, the Théâtre Louis Jouvet and the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris. He has produced plays such as “Basal’ya Bazoba, “Rencontres au pluriel,” “Surface 1 et 2,” “20 ans, et alors!” and “Mort d’Oluwemi d’Ajumako” among others. Kisaku has also participated in the Avignon, Limoges, Paris Quartier d’Eté, Taz à Oostende, ICAF, Pilotobes, A/D Werf, Right About Now, Toseka, Mantsina, and Connexion Kin festivals.
In 2003, he founded a theater group, K-Mu Théâtre, (Kinois en Mutation) based in Kinshasa with other young Arts and Drama graduates from the National Institute of Arts as a Centre for Research and Artistic Creation in Urban Areas. Toto Kisaku and K-Mu Théâtre were the 2010 recipients of the Freedom to Create Prize, an international award that supports and recognizes artists who strive for social change in places where there is no freedom to create. The prize was awarded for their production of Basal’ya Bazoba a play about the violent persecution of children accused of witchcraft.
Watch for his 2018 production titled “Requiem for An Electric Chair”, which he will be presenting in Connecticut and New York.