about the Director
John Wasonga was one of the Africalia Creativity is life 2020 residency winners where he created a podcast https://anchor.fm/john-wasonga. He is one of the leading theatre directors in Kenya, based in the coastal town of Mombasa. He got into professional performance in 2006, with The Traveling Theatre Troupe then went to practice his art with Sponsored Arts for Education (S.A.F.E), he then joined The Theatre Company in 2012 where he was instrumental in creation and performance of performances such as Shungwaaya, Attack of the Shidas and Kimbia. He is currently the Creative director for Jukwaa Arts Productions in Mombasa.
Wasonga creates from his experiences of the world around him working on transforming his audiences to have a different view of the world. Empathy, rage, revenge, celebration, death, friendship and spiritualism are some of his creative sparks. He tells stories of day-to-day struggles and challenges, wins, love and human existence.
Most recently he has directed an ongoing Radio drama Tabasamu and a community theatre drama that have been commissioned due to the outbreak of COVID 19. He has also directed Caroline Ngorobi’s Jaazi Yaelea, which was part of her performance at the 2020 Bakanal de Afrique Fellowship.
At Jukwaa Arts Productions, Wasonga has directed Who Killed Change (2019), colorless flowers (2019), Beautiful trouble (2018), black milk (2016), lessons from the wild 1 and 2, Honest Liar, Lips that Bite (2017), Wet Water (2016), Yes I don’t (2016) among many other plays.
Wasonga has worked over the years from an amateur actor to a professional theatre director and a theatre coach. He was part of The Theatre Company of Kenya’s beginner’s level, intermediate, T.O.T and the Performance Lab.
about the actor
Vlad Udrescu has graduated both acting courses (2008) and the master degree in acting (2010) at the „I.L. Caragiale” National University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest. In 2015, he joined the artistic team of the Craiova National Theatre. Vlad has gained the public’s attention due to his talent and art devotion by playing a considerable diversity of roles. His characters are either strong and dominant or insecure and introverted and Vlad pays attention to each and every detail to capture the exact feature is required. Very often, the directors have offered him substantial roles which he performed magnificently.
In Craiova, Vlad Udrescu played various roles as Marc Anthony in Iulius Caesar by W. Shakespeare, directed by Peter Schneider, Treplev in The Seagull by A.P. Chekhov, directed by Yannis Paraskeveopolous, First Man in Ilussions by Ivan Vyrypaev and Adrian in The Author by Tim Crouch, directed by Bobi Pricop, Leo in The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Dragoș Alexandru Mușoiu, Kent in Radio by Eric Bogosian, directed also by Bobi Pricop, Dominik in Bang by Marius von Mayenburg, directed by Theodor Cristian Popescu etc.
He made his debut at the Comedy Theatre in Bucharest in 2008 and before coming to Craiova he played roles in both classical and contemporary theatre plays produced by Nottara Theater, I.L. Caragiale National Theater, Teatrul Luni – Green Hours, LaScena, Teatrul Foarte Mic etc.
Vlad is also involved in film acting, cultural workshops and seminars, management of cultural projects.
For his talent, passion and dedication, Vlad Udrescu has often been awarded in festivals and contests and he received, in 2006, from the French Embassy in Romania a scholarship in Corsica where he played, in French Language, from Seneca and Dario Fo.