Still a relatively new program, launched in 2010, when the Sundance Institute East Africa conducted a pilot Lab on Manda Island off the coast of Kenya. Four projects from four countries were selected for development.

The Lab returns again this year, seeking projects from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania & Uganda. This year's Lab will take place in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Details below:

Sundance Institute East Africa (SIEA) is a program that supports the work of theatre artists in East Africa by creating exchange and exposure opportunities between U.S. artists and East African writers, directors, and performers. In the spirit of this exchange, Sundance Institute East Africa engages with East African artists in Africa as well as East African artists sharing their work in the U.S.

East African artists are fully engaged with often wrenching social upheavals and transformations. Within these fragile societies, Sundance Institute has encountered a generation of emerging artists whose artistry and insight offer the potential for authentic cultural revitalization – a first step towards social, political, and economic equilibrium. These artists inspiringly embrace the contradictions and paradoxes of a complex interdependent world. They recognize the powerful artistic platforms upon which they speak to their communities about positive social change. These artists are laying the groundwork for healthy productive societies by generating public dialogue with an engaged and compassionate citizenry.

While advancing the growth of individual artistic voices, we also provide mentorship and professional development opportunities-recognizing and honoring the specific cultural, social, political, and artistic realities of East African life (unique to each country as well as to the continent) within both the design and the implementation of the Program.
Sundance Institute East Africa is not a training program.

The primary goals of this exchange are to foster:

– The growth of the American theatre artist and field through interactions in East Africa and with East African artists

– The growth of the East African theatre artist and field through international exposure and exchange

For more information about Sundance Institute’s activities in East Africa, please contact Deborah Asiimwe (Specialist-East Africa) at

How Can You Get Involved?

Submissions are now being accepted for the Fall 2013 Theatre Lab on Zanzibar in Tanzania. The deadline to apply for this Lab is March 21, 2013.