Dr Mwenya Kabwe

Senior Lecturer

Senior Lecturer

MA Theatre & Performance, UCT, BA Major Theatre, Minor African Studies and Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston

Mwenya Kabwe is Senior Lecturer at the CTDPS and coordinates the 4th year Acting Studio and course in Professional Practice, as well as conducts postgraduate teaching and supervision. Kabwe is a Zambian-born maker of theatre and performance, facilitator of creative processes, a performer, writer, arts educator, and scholar. Kabwe’s creative practice and research is focused on contemporary African theatre and performance, migration, immersive and site specific performance work, live art, collaborative and interdisciplinary art making and re-imagining African futures. She has lectured at the UCT Drama Department, Wits School of Arts division of Theatre & Performance, and the Market Theatre Laboratory.  She is a PhD candidate at the CTDPS and a co-curator of Unrehearsed Futures https://dramaschoolmumbai.in/conversations/unrehearsed-futures/

Directing & devising                  

Works that I have either directed as pre-written scripts devised with a cast in collaboration with a production team.

No Easter Sunday for Queers, written by Koleka Putuma, Market Theatre Johannesburg, 2019: A poem turned play about the deaths of two black lesbians at the hands of a pastor on Easter Sunday.





Babylon Beyond Borders, Ramolao Makhene Theatre, Johannesburg, 2019: A multi-platform performance experiment as a simultaneous live stream and live broadcast event in Johannesburg, London, São Paulo and New York about migration and language.







The Little Prince, Market Theatre Lab and KWASHA!, national tour, 2018: A decolonised, South African adaptation of the French classic commissioned by the French Institute in South Africa.




Desert, Centre for the Less Good Idea Season 3, 2018: A play written by Lindiwe Matshikiza about her relationship with her late father John Matshikiza. Staged in collaboration with a film maker, shadow puppeteer and installation designer.






Jacaranda Time, Centre for the Less Good Idea, Season 2, 2017: A collaborative performance with digital design, experimental sound design, dance and spoken text.




A Zambian Space Odyssey, Centre for the Less Good Idea, Season 2, 2017 : A re-imagining of Edward Nkoloso’s Zambian space training programme as cover for an underground anti-colonial movement.



Astronauuts Afrikanus, Rhodes Main Theatre, 2015 :

A site-specific devised work which used the story of Edward Nkoloso as a source story to imagine African futures with Rhodes University students as #RhodesMustFall student protests were beginning.




Afrocartography: Traces of Places and all points in between: A choreopoem with fluid staging possibilities.


Afrovibes Festival, Amsterdam, 2013; Wits Main Theatre, Johannesburg, 2013;

UNESCO Chair International Festival of Theatre Schools, Barcelona, 2008, Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town 2008


Sun, 2012:  Written by Adrienne Kennedy performed with dance and spoken text.


University of Cape Town, Playroom

Migritude’s Echo, 2011: A piece of choreography and spoken text about migration and separation which used Shailja Patel’s Migritude as source material.


Out the Box Festival of Puppetry and Visual Performance. 

Funnyhouse of a Negro 2010: A 1970’s surrealist play written by Adrienne Kennedy.

Arena Theatre, University of Cape Town

Acting & Performance       

Works that I have participated in or made as a performer

  • Mrs Muller In Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, Theatre on the Square, Johannesburg, August 2015
  • Camae in The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall, Market Theatre, Joburg, July 2013
  • Alma inYellowman by Dael Orlander-Smith, Market Theatre Johannesburg 2012, Festival 08, Holland 2008
  • Narrator in Qaphela Caesar directed by Jay Pather, Cape Town City Hall, 2010                      
  • Billie Holiday in Do You Know Billie Holiday?  National Arts main Festival 2009
  • Unyawo Alunampumlo, Spier Contemporary exhibition and Johannesburg Art Gallery, 2008              


  • Conversations. In Halligey, A & Matchett S (Ed) (2021) Collaborative Conversations: Celebrating Twenty-One Years of The Mothertongue Project. Modjaji Books
  • Gymnasium: At a Time Like This, in Nkosi, T (2020) Gymnasium Exhibition Catalogue.  Michael Stevenson Gallery
  • Astronautus Afrikanus: Performing African Futurism. In Boulle, C & Pather J (Ed.) (2019) Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa.  Review: https://africainwords.com/2020/01/27/moving-futures-moving-bodies-review-of-acts-of-transgression/
  • Prompts for Future Africa. In Lewis, M. (Ed) (2017) Imagined Theatres South Africa.   http://imaginedtheatres.com/south-africa/
  • Diagrams of Collaboration. In Ellipses […] Creative Research Journal, 2017: http://www.ellipses.org.za/project/jacaranda-time-diagrams-of-collaboration/
  • Afrocartography: Traces of Places and all points in between. In Marie, Z; Crewe JL et al. (Eds). (2016) […] Creative Research Journal. www.ellipses.org.za
  • Afrocartography script. Ed Kanengoni, A. In BUWA: Moving Stories, Women and Migration in Africa. Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) December 2015, Volume 6.
  • Mobility, Migration and ‘Migritude’ in Afrocartography: Traces of Places and all points in between. In Fleishman M. (Ed) 2015. Migrancy and Mobility in Africa: Cape of Flows. Palgrave MacMillan, New York. Pgs. 125-148
  • SUN: Composition, Continuum, Choreopoem – A Theatre-making Case Study in Post-apartheid South Africa. In Homann, G et al. (Eds) 2015. New Territories: Theatre and Performance in Post-apartheid South Africa. P.I.E Peter Lang. Bruxelles. Pgs. 128 - 145
  • Performing Africa Differently: A Re-Imagining of Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro. In Performative Inter-Actions in African Theatre (Eds) 2013. Okagbue, O & Igweonu, K. Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars
  • A Tea Party for Unholy Ghosts in Art South Africa Vol 10.2 (December 2011)
  • Transgressing Boundaries: Making Theatre from an Afropolitan perspective in South African Theatre Journal (SATJ) Vol. 21 (2007): Special Issue on Dramatic Learning Spaces.
  • Untethered in a Performance of Afrohybrid.  Exhibition catalogue for FLOW at The Studio Museum in Harlem, April – June 2008
  • Gugulective is Now!  September 2008 Catalogue for Performing South Africa exhibition, Hebbel-Theater Berlin GmbH, Berlin Germany.
  • Afrophobia Exposed Rootz Africa Magazine, Volume 31, 2008

Curatorial Work