Toto Kisaku, Artist/CEO/ Founder

TOTO KISAKU

TOTO KISAKU

Playwright / Actor / Director / Producer

Toto is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was born in Kinshasa in 1978. He studied Drama in the National Institute of Arts in Kinshasa (INA) and since 2002 he travels the world producing and participating in plays. He developed his expertise through workshops and participations in artistic residencies. As a refugee since December 2015, he is redefining his artistic expression based on the drama that his country of origin is experiencing as well as the country which has welcomed him with so many surprises from a humanitarian perspective as well as a perspective of identity.

As an author and director, Toto offers actors a way to go beyond the four walls of a performance space. But moreover, he focuses on the process of going beyond the constraints of our daily life, whether with respect real limits, such as those of the body, or the constraints of living in a particular environment. His motivating question as an artist is: how can people living in difficult circumstances (poverty, danger) use artistic activities to recreate their living-spaces? And, what could be the result of this type of activity? Essentially, the latter can generate positive interactions. What he means by positive interaction, is to improve relations between the community and its residents by giving them some hope, as well as opportunities to improve their living conditions.

As an activist my mission is to raise awareness among populations who live in countries where there may be many laws but very little enforcement.  I have spent 17+ years learning how to bring people together and use theater for many reasons: oppose oppressive regimes,  . . .  bring awareness to the plight of homeless children,  . . . For example, my project, "Basal'ya bazoba," is based on raising awareness of the law protecting children in the DRC, specifically in Kinshasa.

Festival Appearances: Festival of Limoges, Avignon, Paris Quartier d’Eté, Right About Now, A / D Werf, ICAF, TAZ, Festival on Niger, Pilotobé, Mantsina sur scène, Toseka ...

Collaborative Projects and Creations: "Patati Patatra et des Tralalas" by D. Niangouna; "Tabataba" by BM Koltes; "Roberto Zusso" by BM Koltes; "20 ans, et alors !" by Don Duyns; "Topdog / Underdog" by Susan Lori Parks; "Rencontres au Pluriel" by Toto Kisaku; "Basal'ya Bazoba" by Toto Kisaku and Guido Kleene; "Surface" by Toto Kisaku

Toto was the recipient of the 2010 "Freedom to Create Prize", presented in Cairo, Egypt.