The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) present the world premiere of Toto Kisaku: African Tale, a special event whichbrings African storytelling, performance, and folktales to young audiences. The event will take place on Saturday, March 11 at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy (972 Fifth Avenue). The French Embassy’s iconic Fifth Avenue Gilded Age mansion will be transformed into an immersivespace where Congolese actor and director Toto Kisaku will capture kids’ imagination and sparktheir creativity.
Kisaku will offer a hands-on experience in French on storytelling, bringing families together around this artand its specific techniques. Parents and kids will split into teams to create costumes, sound effects, and creative recitation of texts inspiredby Senegalese tale“Le fils à la recherche de samère“. They will then reunite to act outthe folktale togetherin aparticipatory performance.
About Toto Kisaku
Set designer, actor, director, and producer Toto Kisaku is currently working with local companies from the InstitutFrançais of N’Djamena, Chad on developing theater performance as part of a larger urban reconstruction project. In 2003, he created K-Mu Théâtre, a theater company with the mission of promoting the performing arts in urban areas of Kinshasa. For 17 years, he traveled the world sharing his experiences through shows, workshops, and residencies. Kisaku is the winner of the 2010 « Freedom to Create Award » in Cairo, Egypt. In 2003, Jacques Livchine and Philip Boulay selected him among the young artists of Kinshasa to represent Congo in the 20th edition of the Limoges festival and to perform in two plays by Bernard M. Koltes. Kisaku also performed in the French version of Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks at the Forum de Blanc Mesnil, the Théâtre Louis Jouvet, and the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris. He has produced plays such as Basal’yaBazoba, Rencontres au pluriel, Surface 1 et 2, 20 ans, et alors!, and Mort d’Oluwemid’Ajumako, among others. 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.