Talawa Theatre Company is led by Artistic Director, Michael Buffong. Talawa was founded in 1986 by Yvonne Brewster, Carmen Munroe, Mona Hammond and Inigo Espejel. Today, Talawa is one of the leading Black theatre companies in the UK, with more than 40 touring productions from African classics to Oscar Wilde behind it. Talawa writers, directors and personnel now work in all areas of British theatre.
Talawa's mission: Talawa is the UK’s primary Black-led touring theatre company. Our work is informed by the wealth and diversity of the Black British experience, and through that we create outstanding work by cultivating the best in emerging and established Black artists. We invest in talent, develop audiences and inspire dialogue with and within communities across the UK and internationally. By doing so, we enrich the cultural life of all.
In addition to its productions the Company broadens the spectrum of work created by Black British artists by commissioning new writing, and the development of ideas through seed commissions. These programmes fall under Talawa’s MAKE initiative: a UK-wide community of Black theatremakers empowered to create their own path through a range of development activity. Talawa MAKE activity includes:
Talawa Firsts, an annual Festival showcasing new plays and work by Black writers and theatre makers;
TYPT, our annual summer school for new and emerging theatre makers;
outreach activities, including bespoke or curriculum based workshops for all ages and abilities, which are artistic or related to participants' personal and social development;
Talawa boosts the writing skills of emerging and established writers, strengthening and ensuring their career growth and position within the industry, through initiatives such as its Script Reading Service, Talawa Writers’ Programme, script development, and Talawa Firsts.
MAKE is supported by the Esmée Fairbain Foundation
Michael Buffong – Artistic Director
Natasha Bucknor – Executive Director
Anthony Ekundayo Lennon – Associate Director (Part of the Trainee Artistic Director Residency through the Artistic Director Leadership Programme (ADLP))
Mimi Findlay – Administrator
Pooja Sitpura – Make Co-ordinator (from September sabbatical cover for Producer, Participation & Learning)
Sanjit Chudha – Marketing and Communications Manager
Zewditu Bekele – Finance Manager
Gail Babb – Producer, Participation and Learning (Gail will be a Clore Leadership Fellow from September 2017)
Jane Fallowfield – Literary Associate
Greg Hersov (Chair), Derek Brown, Heather Clark Charrington, Jim Kenworth, Sue Mayo, Viloshini Sinden