Toto Kisaku is an award-winning Congolese playwright, actor, director, and producer. Toto was born in Kinshasa and studied drama at the National Institute of Arts.
After establishing the K-Mu Theater in 2003, he spent the next 13 years traveling the world producing and participating in plays, with a focus on going beyond the constraints of daily life and examining how people living in difficult circumstances (poverty, oppressive regimes) can use artistic activities to recreate their environments and improve their lives.
As an activist, one of his most successful projects as producer and actor was "Basal'ya bazoba," which raised awareness of the law protecting children in Kinshasa and played to more than 150,000 people in and around Kinshasa. For this production Toto received the 2010 "Freedom to Create Prize," presented in Cairo, Egypt.
In 2003, Jacques Livchine and Philip Boulay selected him among the young artists of Kinshasa to represent Congo in the prestigious Limoges festival. He also performed in the French version of Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks at several theaters in Paris.
As a U.S. refugee since December 2015, Toto is redefining his artistic expression based not only on the drama that his country of origin is experiencing, but also on his experiences in the U.S., a country that has welcomed him with so many surprises, from its humanitarian philosophy to its perspectives on identity and freedom.
Toto has relaunched K-Mu Theater in New Haven. His new play, “Requiem for an Electric Chair,” is based on his escape from execution in Kinshasa and will have its first workshop production as part of the New Haven City-Wide Open Studios Festival in October 2017.
Performances and Collaborative Projects
Topdog / Underdog by Suzan Lori ParksPatati Patatra et des Tralalas by D. NiangounaTabataba by BM Koltes
Le Petit Studio is K-Mu Theater’s outreach to young people. Using a two-hour workshop format, children and adolescents, with optional participation by adults, perform dramatic staged readings of fables and stories. Le Petit Studio promotes creativity, collaboration, and literacy, and creates safe spaces for young people to be creators of their own lives.
Roberto Zucco by BM Koltes20 ans, et alors! by Don DuynsRencontres au Pluriel by Toto KisakuBasal'ya Bazoba by Toto Kisaku and Guido KleeneSurface by Toto Kisaku
Festival of Limoges (France)Festival of Avignon (France)Paris Quartier d’Eté (France)Right About Now (Netherlands)Festival A / D Werf (Netherlands)ICAF (International Community Arts Festival, Netherlands) TAZ (Theater ann Zee, Belgium) TILT Kids Festival (NYC, US) City Wide Open Studio (New Haven- Connecticut, US) Bana Congo (Belgium)Festival on Niger (Mali)Pilotobé (Niger)Festival Mantsina sur scène (Congo) Festival Toseka (Congo)