Los Angeles Drama Club Partners With Auma Obama Foundation Sauti Kuu

By: Apr. 17, 2019
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Los Angeles Drama Club Partners With Auma Obama Foundation Sauti Kuu

Los Angeles Drama Club - the country's youngest Shakespeare company - is proud and honored to be invited by director, Dr. Auma Obama, as guest artists-in-residence at the Sauti Kuu Foundation (SKF) based in Alego Nyangoma, Siaya County, Western Kenya, August, 2019. Sauti Kuu - meaning "powerful voices" - is partnering with Los Angeles Drama Club to further their mission of enabling children and young people in Kenya and beyond to find and use their voice to positively change their lives.

Executive Director, Julia Walker Wyson, and Artistic Director, Blaire Baron, will travel to rural Kenya with four teaching artists: Anniwaa Buachie, J. Bailey Burcham, Kila Packett, and Esdras Toussaint; and four high school students from Los Angeles to spend a week living and working with the Sauti Kuu young people and their families. The Shakespeare workshop will enhance the drama component that Sauti Kuu has incorporated into their mission in an unprecedented partnership for both non-profit organizations.

Dr. Auma Obama has long been serving children in her community and in other countries - through the Auma Obama Foundation Sauti Kuu. The Kenyan-born sister of former U.S. President Barack Obama, Auma Obama, will preside over LADC's visit to Sauti Kuu in Alego Nyangoma (the Obama family ancestral village) as they work with over a hundred local and underprivileged children in a global exchange of culture and ideas that will culminate in a performance watched by the whole community.

The theme for the week, "All The World's A Stage - How Will You Play Your Part?," will not only focus on theatre, drama, and expression, but also on personal development (one of the four pillars of the Sauti Kuu mission). Through bringing their voices and perspectives to Shakespeare's most extreme characters, participants will be exposed to how one can transcend culture to realize the universal relevance of this exchange. They will use this knowledge to reflect on how they can ultimately make the best and most informed choices for their lives.

Founded in 2008 by Blaire Baron, Los Angeles Drama Club is the only youth arts company in which children (ages 5-18) from across Los Angeles and different socioeconomic backgrounds join hands for the purpose of rehearsing and performing Shakespeare. LADC has presented over forty full productions of Shakespeare plays, through the annual Shakespeare Youth Festival LA. Through its educational outreach in schools, libraries, theatres, community centers, parks, and other countries, including Mexico and Botswana, in 2018, LADC reached over 800 students. LADC currently provides Shakespeare workshops in East LA, Watts, Compton, and for The Upward Bound House, enriching the lives of youth transitioning from homelessness.

Founded by Dr. Auma Obama, Sauti Kuu's goal is to create a platform for disadvantaged children and young people worldwide that allows them to uncover their strengths and realize their full potential to live independent successful lives. The aim is to help children and young people, in particular those from rural communities and urban slums, to discover the strength of their own voices and the power they have to positively change their lives. SKF works with families to develop sustainable socioeconomic structures that will guarantee financial independence, assists the children and young people to actively participate in the development of their communities, and utilize locally available resources to improve their living conditions.