Warren Nebe is the director of Drama for Life. He is a theatre director, senior lecturer, a HPCSA and NADT registered Drama Therapist and a Fulbright Alumni. He is also the managing director of Themba Interactive – Initiatives for Life.
His research focuses on identity construction, representation and memory in South Africa through an auto-ethnographic theatre-making approach. This research is articulated in the Transformation Project supported by the Wits Transformation Office and Carnegie Corporation. Notions of identity are explored in two theatre productions, ID Pending and Hayani, under his direction.
Warren is also a research member of the Wits School of Human and Community Development, Apartheid Archives Research Project. His other research focuses on how an integrated drama and theatre education, therapy and activist approach can foster capacity development in HIV/Aids and Human Rights education throughout Africa.
He curated the SA Theatre Season in 2010, Honouring the Archive: Theatre, Memory and Social Justice, and again in 2011, titled: SA Theatre Season: The Personal Archive: Diversity in Conversation. He is currently working on a Facebook Performance Project exploring race, identity and culture in a cyber dialogue.
Hazel Barnes is a senior research associate in Drama and Performance Studies on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is also a Mellon visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town and consultant and member of the Research Committee of Drama for Life and visiting lecturer, Division of Dramatic Arts, Witwatersrand University.
She has a particular interest in Applied Drama for healing and development but has also directed and acted.
Kennedy Chinyowa is currently the head of the Division of Dramatic Art and senior lecturer in Applied Drama and Theatre at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Previously, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Drama and Performance Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2006 – 7) and the Department of Drama and Film Studies (2008) at Tshwane University of Technology. He has taught at several universities including the University of Zimbabwe, Griffith University (Australia), and University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa). He was a visiting scholar in the Centre for Applied Theatre Research at Griffith University where he obtained his PhD degree in Theatre for Development.
He has won numerous research awards such as the American Alliance for Theatre in Education’s Distinguished Thesis Finalist Award, Griffith University’s Postgraduate Research Scholarship, the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and the University of Zimbabwe’s Staff Development Fellowship.
In addition to presenting several papers and workshops at international conferences, he is published widely in books and refereed journals such as Research in Drama Education (UK), Studies in Theatre and Performance (UK), Drama Research (UK), Nadie Journal (Australia), Literary Criterion (India), South African Theatre Journal and Alternation (South Africa).
Candice Steele (nee Levieux) is a programme manager in the Knowledge Fields Development directorate at the National Research Foundation, where she is also the research manager of the South African National Antarctic Programme. She holds a Master's degree in Social Science, which she obtained in 1998 from the School of Environment and Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her career has been largely in the broad sphere of development, with a particular focus on HIV/Aids. She is also a graduate of the Wits School of Arts, having completed a postgraduate diploma in Arts and Culture Management in 2007.
Christopher Odhiambo Joseph (CJ) is an Associate Professor of Post Colonial Literatures and Applied Drama. He teaches both Literature and Theatre at Moi University’s Department of Literature, Theatre and Film Studies. Was awarded a doctorate in drama at Stellenbosch University on a research work that investigated the appropriate procedures and methodology of practice in Theatre for Development in Kenya. The book version of the doctoral thesis was published in Germany in 2008 under the title: Theatre for Development in Kenya: In Search of Appropriate Methodology and Procedure.
Christopher Odhiambo has participated in a number of educational and intervention theatre workshops, seminars and conferences locally and internationally as facilitator, paper presenter and keynote speaker. He is widely published on the area of educational and intervention drama/ theatre as well as literature in journals and books. He was the co-convener and organiser of the International Drama/Theatre Education Association in Kisumu Kenya in 1998 and the KDEA International symposium that preceded it in 1997 at University of Nairobi and Kenya National Theatre. He is a perennial adjudicator at all levels in the Kenya National Schools and Colleges Drama Festival. He pioneered the teaching of theatre at Moi University.
In 2007, he won a Mellon post doctoral fellowship to pursue research on the intervention and transformative strategies in the drama(s) of Cameroonian playwright Bole Butake at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has taught drama at Stellenbosch and Wits University. He also writes short stories, poems and plays; has also directed a number of plays. He was part of the team of experts that designed and implemented the curriculum of DFL and is member of Drama for Life research committee and was one time the project director of IDEA.
Tamara Gordon-Roberts attended Rhodes University where she completed an undergraduate degree in Drama and Psychology, graduating in 2004. In 2005 she completed her Honours, specialising in Drama in Education; Dance Culture and Education; Contemporary Performance; Theatre Studies and Physical Theatre. Whilst specialising in Drama in Education, under the supervision of Alexandra Sutherland, Tamara facilitated Process Drama workshops within a variety of Grahamstown’s private, government and township schools, at the Provost Prison and at the Kuyasa Shelter. These workshops combine dramatic and creative techniques within the curriculum to encourage participants to approach the learning experience from new and exciting perspectives.
On leaving Rhodes University, Tamara assumed a junior teaching position in the Drama Department at St Stithians Boys’ College in Johannesburg (January 2006 to December 2007). In this position she was responsible for teaching drama theory and practical for Grades 8 to 10, and formulating and facilitating physical theatre and movement courses for Grades 8 to 12. In addition to this Tamara structured and developed the Twananani Community Project at St Stithians Boys’ College. In her role as project co-ordinator she structured a weekly programme to encourage students from the Boys’ College to cross cultural and language barriers and connect with children from Twananani Pre-School through art and drama.
In 2006, Tamara assumed a part-time position in the Dramatic Arts Division at the Wits School of Arts, where she lectured Process Drama, working to develop a network of schools for practical placements, facilitating these placements, and guiding the development of the students’ process drama practice. In 2008 Tamara’s lecturing extended into the Drama for Life programme and she co-ordinated Africa’s first Applied Drama and Theatre Conference.
Later in 2008, Tamara began her Master's degree in Drama and Movement Therapy (Sesame) at the Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. Having completed her Master's degree, Tamara has rejoined the Dramatic Arts Division and the Drama for Life programme.
Prof. Marié-Heleen Coetzee is head of the drama department of the University of Pretoria. She lectures in somatics, movement pedagogy and applied drama/theatre. Her current research centres on drama/theatre-based pedagogies and performance praxis. She has presented at papers and workshops at national and international conferences, contributed scholarly publications and directed/choreographed productions on various platforms.