Le Petit Studio

Toto Kisaku's Theater Workshop for Children

What: "Le Petit Studio" is a workshop space for dramatic readings by and for children (ages 8-12), with some participation by brave adults! 

When: Sunday, September 24th, 2-4pm

Why: Creativity is exciting. It's exhilarating. And creating with other people brings them into our lives in a way that is empowering – the opposite of violence, which keeps others on the outside. Creating safe spaces for young people to be creators of their own lives and experiences is vital to developing the neighborhoods, the communities, the cities we dream of.

How: Imagine in 2 hours that 20 young people can recreate an entire world on stage. Imagine that they take responsibility for making artistic decisions to realize their vision and make their story come alive. First, the children choose a book or story to dramatize. The book is chosen at random from a pile of possibilities. Participants are invited to bring a favorite book to add. Next, the children decide who will play each character, who will make sounds that will create the environment, and who will design the costumes and the set. Then the activity begins! For 1 marvelous hour, the young people cut, sew, paint, staple, and draw; they sing, whistle, blow, snap, stomp, and make unearthly sounds to recreate the world they’re creating; they practice voices for characters, look up how to pronounce unfamiliar words, try out various postures that fit their characters, and dig deeply into their characters—how they feel about themselves, how they feel about the other characters. The workshop concludes with a performance from beginning to end.

This program is free of charge, made possible with support from The ArtEcon Initiative. All supplies and materials are included. We strongly encourage you to RSVP as space is limited.

To RSVP, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/toto-kisakus-le-petit-studio-tickets-37150895328.

About Toto Kisaku: Toto Kisaku is a Playwright / Actor / Director / Producer originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has led over 40 such workshops for schools, non-profits and governments worldwide. He studied Drama in the National Institute of Arts in Kinshasa (INA) and since 2002 has traveled 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 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. In other words, 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, Toto's mission is to raise awareness among populations who live in countries where there may be many laws, but very little enforcement.  Toto spent 17+ years learning how to bring people together to use theater for many reasons, including opposing oppressive regimes, and bringing awareness to the plight of homeless children. His project, "Basal'ya bazoba," is based on raising awareness of the law protecting children in the DRC, specifically in Kinshasa. Toto was the recipient of the 2010 "Freedom to Create Prize" presented in Cairo, Egypt. 

Festival Appearances include: 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 include: "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.

For more information, please visit: www.kmutheater.net.