The Theatre For One: We are Here, the Nairobi Edition will debut at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi on September 15th. The show will run online on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays until September 26.

The personal theatrical experience takes place in a unique one-on-one format between the audience member and performer, with six micro-plays unfolding live, in a special digital platform.

Theatre for One: We Are Here is a collaboration between the Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, the US-based Octopus Theatricals, and Kenya-based Nairobi Musical Theatre Initiative and Rainmaker company. The performances will feature six female Kenyan actors and include Kenyan directors and producers collaborating across borders.

The six world premiere plays capture a cross-section of the Kenyan theater scene, and examine the liminal space between ancestry and civilization, the real and the surreal, the inner being, and our external existence. The plays will ask questions like how we show up bare and vulnerable in these unusual times whilst carrying the energy of the other within us.

Speaking at the press conference on August 31 to announce the launch of Theater for One: We Are Here, Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center at NYUAD Bill Bragin, said, “We are delighted to announce the return of Theatre for One to The Arts Center. This unique digital platform gives us a way to cross borders and deepen The Arts Center’s ties with the Kenyan theater community, building on the UAE’s strong links with East Africa. Working with the Nairobi Musical Theatre Initiative and Rainmaker Limited, together with Octopus Theatricals, has proved to be a fruitful collaboration that expands the cross-border dimensions of The Arts Center’s work further than ever.”

Theatre For One: We are Here comprises six commissioned world premiere plays, each less than ten minutes in length. For each ticket booked, an audience member will be invited to experience one of the following performances.

  1. The Interview: written and performed by Aleya Kassam; directed by Esther Kamba; mentored by Kholoud/SRĐA.
  2. The Living Ghost: written and performed by Mercy Mutisya; directed by Kholoud Sawaf; associate director, Nyokabi Macharia.
  3. Aging: written and performed by Laura Ekumbo; directed by SRĐA; associate director, Esther Kamba.
  4. The Beanie: written and performed by Mūmbi Kaigwa (documentary theater); directed by: SRĐA; associate director, Nyokabi Macharia.
  5. Killer Cop Lives Fast Life: written and performed by Sitawa Namwalie; directed by Kholoud Sawaf; associate director, Esther Kamba.
  6. Cucu: written and performed by Anne Moraa; directed by Nyokabi Macharia, mentored by Kholoud Sawaf/SRĐA.

Theatre for One was created in 2010 by Christine Jones, a Tony and Olivier Award-winning set designer, and adjunct faculty member at NYU Tisch.

The innovative live digital theatrical experience, which has enjoyed critically acclaimed runs in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Chicago, results in uniquely personal works that bring a much needed intimacy to one-on-one online performance.

The show is recommended for audiences aged 18 years and older. The content ranges from PG to R rating, based on language and references to sexual violence and domestic abuse.