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About Us

Dr Yvette Hutchison

Principle Investigator of AWPN

Yvette Hutchison is a South African academic and theatre maker in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research focuses on Anglophone African theatre, history and narratives of memory, and how intercultural performance practices are challenged by ongoing postcolonial issues. She is associate editor of the South African Theatre Journal and the African Theatre series, and has co-edited books with Kole Omotoso and Eckhard Breitinger. Her monograph, South African Performance and Archives of Memory was published by Manchester University Press in 2013. She has created physical theatre, installation pieces and written theatre for young people. She is currently co-investigator on the AHRC-funded African Women Playwrights’ Network Project (, which is using mobile app technology to connect African women creative practitioners with one another and other interested parties.

Staff photo


Contemporary Plays

Learn about the playwrights in our ground breaking collection. From left to right: Koleka Putuma, Sophia Mempuh, Thembelilhe Moyo, Adong Judith, Tosin Tume, JC Niala, Sara Sawaari & Yvette Hutchison


Steering Committee

Learn about our new steering comittee members. From top to bottom: Neo Kebiditswe, Philisiwe Twijnstra and ‘Tosin Tume

Our Network

We are an international network of over 350 African women creative practitioners from more than 21 countries on the African continent and in the diaspora.

We are a virtual community involved in poetry, playwriting and theatre-making both professionally and in community projects taking place across the globe.

JC Niala

Community Manager of AWPN

JC Niala is a Kenyan award winning screen, stage writer and poet. Her play The Strong Room was shortlisted by Wole Soyinka in BBC Africa Performance before going on to sell out productions in Nairobi & London. The money raised from the Nairobi productions was used to re-home 19 families in Kibera, after they lost their homes in a fire. JC believes in the unifying power of theatre and as such was one of the playwrights in the 3rd Annual Round the World Play staged in New York in 2015. Wazi? FM, a film she wrote about the lives of Urban Refugees, won 4 awards including the Golden Dhow for best picture at Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2015. In June 2016 JC was poet-in-residence at Cable St. Community Gardens as part of the London Parks & Gardens Trust & The Poetry School's Re-Mixed Borders Project. Combining her passion for drama & poetry she performed her musical verse drama A Cow's Tale at the residency. JC is currently attending summer school at the University of Copenhagen on a student exchange scholarship from the University of Oxford where she is reading for an MSt. in Creative Writing. We are working with her on her play

Central campus

Amy Jephta

Co-investigator of AWPN

Amy Jephta is a playwright and director from Cape Town. She was the first national recipient of the Baxter Theatre/TAAC Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary and is an alumni of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, New York. Amy has worked as a mentor to community theatre groups based in Kwazulu-Natal as part of the Twist Theatre project, has been part of the South African New Plays Writing Programme at Wits University, and has been a voice and acting lecturer at CityVarsity (Cape Town), the Woodward School for Contemporary Art (Vancouver) and an invited lecturer at CUNY Queens College (New York). As a playwright, her work has been published in South Africa, performed at the Riksteatern in Stockholm, at the Bush Theatre, Theatre 503 and the Jermyn Street Theatre. Her writing was directed by Danny Boyle and performed by James McAvoy for the Royal Court's Children's Monologues. Amy is also a screenwriter, with three feature film credits to her name. In 2013, she was named as one of the Mail & Guardian's 200 Top Young South Africans. She is currently working on a research project that uses documentary theatre in the telling of refugee narratives, funded by the British Council. Amy holds an MA in Theatre from the University of Cape Town, where she is currently a lecturer in the Drama Department.

Amy Jephta