WPKN Archives: Live Culture with Martha Willette Lewis Episode 39: What would you do?

Episode Info

Live Culture

Original Aired:
Saturday, May 26th, 2018
11:00AM to 11:33AM

33 minutes

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 11:01AM

liveculture marthawillettelewis toto totokisaku artsideas artsandideas requiemforan electricchair


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Episode: Live Culture with Martha Willette Lewis Episode 39: What would you do?

This month on Live Culture my first guest is Toto Kisaku whose theatre production REQUIEM FOR AN ELECTRIC CHAIR is being featured in this year's International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The production runs June 22-23 at the Iseman Theatre at 1156 Chapel Street in New Haven.

A set designer, actor, and producer, Toto Kisaku was imprisoned for creating art that questioned the practice of child exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. he was moments away from being killed by his government when his executioner showed him an unexpected moment of mercy. He has since found political asylum in the United States, where he has created a theatre production about this pivotal moment in his existence. This June the public is invited to experience his remarkable story at the world premiere of his new play.

Kisaku has organized theatre in communities across Congo and performed internationally before coming to the U.S. in December 2015. Toto created K-Mu Théâtre in 2003, a theatre company popularizing the performing arts in urban areas of Kinshasa. He is the winner of the 2010 “Freedom to Create Award” in Cairo, Egypt. In 2003 he was selected to represent Congo in the 20th edition of the Limoges Festival and to perform in two pieces by Bernard M. Koltes. Kisaku was also in the French version of “Topdog / Underdog” by Suzan L. Parks at the Forum de Blanc Mesnil, the Théâtre Louis Jouvet and the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris. Kisaku has also participated in the Avignon, Limoges, Paris Quartier d’Eté, Taz à Oostende, ICAF, Pilotobes, A/D Werf, Right About Now,Toseka, Mantsina, and Connexion Kin festivals.

REQUIEM FOR AN ELECTRIC CHAIR is co-directed by Hanifa Nayo Washington and Will MacAdams. The creative team includes Susan McCaslin, Yaira Matyakubova, Sara Zunda, Jamie Burnett, David Sepulveda, and Robert Barsky.

And in the second half, I am in conversation with Amy Kaplan and Trace Burroughs the two artists responsible for producing Reveries an exhibition event in Westport, CT., which opened on May 24th, benefiting Project Return. Trace and Amy are working to reconnect the community and energize the downtown Westport environment through art. Reveries is at 153 Post Road East and runs from May 24 - June 3, in downtown Westport. The show features 15 local artists, and a portion of sales will be donated to Project Return.

Project Return empowers young women in crisis to rebuild their lives by providing a safe, secure, and structured environment where they learn life skills, heal family relationships, and strengthen other life-long connections needed for healthy independent living.

The fifteen artists exhibiting works in the gallery are: Amy Kaplan, Trace Burroughs, Heidi Lewis Coleman, Noah Steinman, Liz Leggett, Dan Long, Katherine Ross, Lisa Silberman, Charles Douthat, Julie Leff, Scott Glaser, Melissa Newman, Holly Hawthorne, Erich Davis and Diane Pollack.

Trace Burroughs was raised in Westport has been involved in the arts since the age of 10, and has curated several shows in the area and participated in dozens. Through the years he has been involved in various creative endeavours: Author, Nickelodeon voiceover performer, comedy writer, broadcast designer, drummer and now a singer.

Amy Kaplan is an artist who is also a member of several local arts organization including Westport Artist Collective and elected RTM member in Westport. She sits on the Board of the Ridgefield Guild of Artists.


Show: Live Culture

Live Culture is a discussion of ideas in and around contemporary art, with monthly themes and guests. Join host Martha Willette Lewis on the last Saturday of every month from 11am - 12 noon for an engrossing hour of talk and music.

Listen to PODCASTS of the show on the PKN Soundcloud LIVE CULTURE playlist here!

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