Toto Kisaku, is an award-winning Congolese playwright, actor, director and producer who studied drama at the National Institute of Arts in Kinshasa. After establishing the K-Mu Theater in 2003, he spent the next 15 years traveling the world to produce and participate in plays. Toto arrived in the United States in late 2015 seeking political asylum, which he was granted in March 2018. Since his arrival, Toto has spent his time learning and redefining his artistic expression based on the tension that both his country of origin and the country which has welcomed him are enduring. In his work, Toto focuses on transcending the constraints of daily life and examining how people living in poverty or under oppressive regimes can recreate their environments and improve their lives through artistic activities. Toto’s pieces invite both spectator and actor to find ways to go beyond the walls of both the performance and living space.
His last piece "7 dialogues" was performed at Yale School of Architecture by Sydney Lemmon and Toto Kisaku through the Garden Pleasure project. The first International Festival of Arts & Ideas Artist in residence 2019 led workshop programs and Talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa, Europe before the U.S at Wesleyan University, Quinnipiac University, Hampshire College, etc.
Toto’s piece Requiem For An Electric Chair premiered at the 2018 Festival with three sold-out performances and is his first play to be performed in English. Toto was the recipient of the 2010 "Freedom to Create Prize,” presented in Cairo, Egypt. He was also the recipient of the 2018 Rebecca Blunk Fund award, granted by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
Requiem for an Electric Chair have been performed at the Studio Theatre in Washington DC last November 2019 and will be touring in the US on 2020-2021. In April 2020 the play will be performed in Portland - Maine at The Portland Ovation with a residency.