Academic Staff

Dr Kennedy Chinyowa (Ph.D., Griffith University, Australia)

Head of Division of Dramatic Arts; Film, Visual and Performing Studies I Lecturer; Applied Drama Studies IV Lecturer; and Drama and Film III Lecturer

Kennedy Chinyowa is currently the Head of the Division of Dramatic Art and Senior Lecturer in Applied Drama and Theatre at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Previously, he was a National Research Foundation postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Drama and Performance Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2006-7).  He was also awarded a second postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Drama and Film Studies at Tshwane University of Technology (2008-9).  He has taught at several universities including the University of Zimbabwe, Griffith University (Australia), University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), and Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa).  He was a visiting scholar in the Centre for Applied Theatre Research at Griffith University where he obtained his Ph.D. degree in Theatre for Development.

He has won numerous research awards including the American Alliance for Theatre in Education’s Distinguished Thesis Finalist Award, Griffith University’s Postgraduate Research Scholarship, the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and the University of Zimbabwe’s Staff Development Fellowship, to mention a few.  Apart from presenting several papers and workshops at international conferences, he has published widely in books, refereed and accredited journals such as Research in Drama Education (UK), Studies in Theatre and Performance (UK), Drama Research (UK), Nadie Journal (Australia), Literary Criterion (India), South African Theatre Journal and Alternation (South Africa).


Room: WSOA 241

Tel:      011 717 4723



Joni Barnard (BA Hons, Rhodes. MA, Rhodes)  

Movement Lecturer

Crisp, delicate and provocative, Barnard’s choreographic style is one that blends contemporary dance with physical theatre.  As a young South African Choreographer, she revels in exploring body politics in live performance and her work centres around notions of gender and sexual identity.  Her works, such as Epicene: portrait in two, Crisscrossed and Top deck, have been performed on numerous platforms: the National Arts Festival, the Dance Umbrella and the Sibikwe Dance Festival. In May 2012, Barnard co-curated DETOURS: re-routing movement composition, an experimental movement festival that was hosted at Wits University.  Most recently, she co-curated the Re-visioning Dance Festival, a festival that focused on screendance works, hosted at Wits University, October 2012.  Barnard obtained her Masters in Choreography from Rhodes University in 2009 and is currently lecturing Movement, Performance Studies and Physical Theatre at Wits University’s School of Arts, Johannesburg.  She is co-founder of Stash the Suitcase Collective and is constantly inspired by the collaborative work that this collective promotes.  Currently, Barnard is interested in exploring film and the various and exciting ways that this medium can be used to capture and investigate the moving body.  She enjoys creating platforms and opportunities, both local and international, for herself and other performers to interact, play, learn, be moved, be challenged and ultimately to create exciting and relevant work.

Room: UC 1504, 15th Floor

Tel:      011 717 9999







Jane Crewe (MADA, Wits. PDDS, LABAN, London)

Physical Theatre Lecturer, Performing Arts Management IV Lecturer

Jane Crewe completed her MA in Arts and Culture Management through Wits University (2007), a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies from the Laban Centre London (2002) after receiving her BA Honours in Physical Theatre, Choreography, Design, Dance Repertory and Theatre Studies from Rhodes University (1999).  She lectures in Physical Theatre, Dance for Camera, Arts Management, Creative Movement and Dance Education.

Crewe holds a keen interest in contemporary performance practice, specifically within the fields of Physical Theatre, Dance Theatre and Dance for Camera. She consults in the area of arts management and most recently performed in Waiting Room directed by Gerard Bester in 2013.  Crewe was appointed to the South African Theatre Initiative/Department of Arts and Culture 2008/2009 lobbying committee for dance and currently co-directs the DETOURS and Re-visioning Dance festivals.  

Particular current focal areas include Dance for Camera and the need for innovative arts management practices in order to promote sustainable creative practices within local arts organisations.  As a result, Crewe has been instrumental in implementing and supervising Drama for Life’s Company Laboratory internship in 2011, Small Stakes II and Re-visioning Dance festivals for 2012.


Room: WSOA 238

Tel:      011 717 4646


Jenni-Lee Crewe (BA Hons, Rhodes. MFA, Tulane, US)

Design and Production Lecturer

Jenni-lee Crewe currently works as a stage designer and design lecturer for the Division of Dramatic Arts in the Wits School of Arts.  She teaches design and production studies as well as contemporary performance.  She received her MFA in Design and Theatre Production from Tulane University in New Orleans in 2006.  Before that she worked for the First Physical Theatre Company as their education officer as well as a choreographer, designer and performer. During this time she also taught choreography and design studies at Rhodes University after completing her BA Honours degree.  Crewe has done stage design work in New Orleans as well as choreographing, devising and designing theatre work in South Africa.  While working for the First Physical Theatre Company, she co-wrote the Dance Educator’s Handbook for high school learners with Professor Gary Gordon and developed the Professional Training Course for adult learners in dance and dance composition.  Her predominant areas of research interest lie in the relationship between body, image and text in contemporary performance, investigating trans-Atlantic connections in performance identities and cultures, as well as tracing current trends in systems of improvisation in Johannesburg theatre making


Room: WSOA 234

Tel:      011 717 4653



Catherine Duncan (MA, Wits. M.Ed, Wits)

Visual and Performing Arts I Lecturer, and Drama and Film II and III Lecturer

Catherine Duncan currently teaches in the areas of Drama and Film and Media Studies.  She is particularly interested in popular cultures and their fandoms, and teaches courses on anime, horror film and postmodern cinemas.  Duncan is also involved in applied research into teaching and learning in the Wits School of Arts.  She is especially focused on ideas of pedagogical content knowledge in the creative and performing arts and the role of communities of practice for learning in universities.  Duncan has a Masters degree from Wits in Journalism and Media Studies and has recently completed a Masters in Education (Wits). She is currently working on a Ph.D. on participatory fandoms and fan communities in South Africa.


Room: WSOA 240

Tel:      011 717 4641



Dr Haseenah Ebrahim (PhD, Northwestern University, USA)

Drama and Film II and III Senior Lecturer, Coordinator of 4th year Research Projectsand Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies.

Dr Haseenah Ebrahim is a Senior Lecturer in the Wits Division of Dramatic Arts.  She received her Ph.D. in Film/Media Studies from Northwestern University (Illinois, U.S.A) in 1998.  Dr Ebrahim teaches film and television studies, including courses in children’s/family films, cinema and nationhood, contemporary Bollywood cinema, classical and contemporary Hollywood, and global flows of films and television programming.  Dr Ebrahim’s research and teaching interests include questions of audiences, ideology and narrative strategies in children’s and youth-targeted films, media culture, consumption, fandom and anti-fandom.  Dr Ebrahim’s publications include several journal articles on Caribbean cinema, including articles on santeria aesthetics, race and gender in Cuban cinema, and on Euzhan Palcy’s adaptation of Joseph Zobel’s La rue cases negres.  She has also published a journal article and a book chapter on Bollywood in South Africa. A forthcoming publication explores Pixar Animation Studio’s construction of little girls.  Dr Ebrahim is currently editing a collection of essays on cinema in post-1994 South Africa, conducting research on consumption practices, fandom and anti-fandom relating to Bollywood in South Africa, and on questions of hyper-realism in Disney animation.

Room: 235

Tel: 011 717 4645



Samuel Ravengai

Samuel Ravengai has a doctorate in Drama from the University of Cape Town and is a board member of IFTR/FIRT, where he works closely with the African Theatre and Performance (AT&P) Working Group, of which he is one of the founding members. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Theatre Arts Department, at the University of Zimbabwe. He is particularly interested in the interconnection of race, nation, empire, migration, and ethnicity with cultural production. He has published fairly well in various international journals and book chapters with over ten articles to his name. Apart from being an academic, he is a director and theatre maker and has over twenty productions to his name since he started directing in 2000. His directing philosophy is guided by the value Africans place on the centrality of the body as a nucleus of performance. He is currently working on three book projects; conversion of his PhD thesis into a book and contributing book chapters to the following book projects: Lewis, Megan and Krueger, Anton (Eds). (Current) Making Space for Creativity, Collaboration & Cultural Interventions: 25 Years of Magnet Theatre and Fleishman, Mark (ed) (current) Performing Migration: Moving and Grooving in and out of Cape Town: African Perspectives on Performing Migrancy and Migrating Performance Forms. Palgrave/Macmillan. Samuel has just accepted the position of Chief Editor of a new journal to be published by UNISA Press, Tshibilika: Zimbabwean Journal of Performing and Creative Arts.

Room: 243

Tel: 011 717 4651


Benita de Robillard (MADA, Wits. PhD candidate, Wits)

Drama and Film III Lecturer, and Media Studies Lecturer

Benita de Robillard teaches courses informed by interdisciplinary critical and cultural theories, which think about the intervolvement of bodies, technologies and diverse aesthetic modalities.  She supervises postgraduate work focused on bodies, cultures and sexualities that is shaped by interdisciplinary and queer ways of thinking. Her current research project explores some of the nomadic meshings of sexualities, socialities and politics in the post/apartheid milieu.  These explorations are located within a critical system constituted through assemblages of feminist, queer and cripqueer perspectives.  She serves on the editorial board of Image and Text. For details of publications and conference presentations please visit:


Room: WSOA 233

Tel:      011 717 4647



Associate Professor Sarah Roberts (MA, Wales. PhD, Wits)

Sarah Roberts is Associate Professor in the Division.  She lectures students across a spectrum of the four year professional degree course within the Drama Division and her specialist field lies in Design and theatre studies.  Her Ph.D. (Re-casting Ovid: an interrogation of the rhetoric of status dynamics and its analytical purchase in performance pedagogy and textual analysis) was submitted in February 2013.  The study seeks to expand on the work of Keith Johnstone in improvisation training and integrates aspects of cultural studies, textual analysis and performance with the project of theatre-making.  


She is a multi-award winning theatre designer of national and international repute.  Her thirty year career in South African theatre is both diverse and extensive.  Since the mid 1980’s she has been widely involved in designing new South African performances in a wide range of styles, working with directors including the late Barney Simon at the Market Theatre, Mbongeni Ngema, Welcome Msomi, Gcina Mhlope, John Kani and Janice Honeyman.  She has designed for major choreographers, including Sylvia Glasser and Vincent Mantsoe of Moving Into Dance, David Matamela, Jay Pather, PJ Sabbagha  and Mark Hawkins in styles that range from carefully researched specific South African identities to the theatrical and fantastical.  She was designer and art director of the acclaimed and award winning film Chikin Biznis.  She has equally extensive experience in large scale outdoor, televised public events.  Major international production credits include Sarafina! and Nothing But the Truth.  In South Africa, career highlights remain designing the stage for the Presidential Inauguration of Nelson Mandela (1994) at the Union Building gardens and subsequently, on the same site, the stage for Bravo Africa!, Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras in concert


Room: WSOA 243

Tel:      011 717 4648



Jill Waterman (BA, Rhodes. PDDS, LABAN, London)

Arts Management IIIA and IVB Lecturer, and Arts Management Course Coordinator

Jill Waterman works as a major-time Arts Management lecturer in the Division of Dramatic Arts at an undergraduate level, and in the Arts, Culture and Heritage Programme, which lies in the Wits School of Arts postgraduate department.

She is an experienced curriculum developer and facilitator, having recently completed and piloted short courses in; monitoring and evaluating an arts project, marketing the arts, introduction to arts leadership, and governance and boards.

At the Drama for Life dialogues What role do the Arts for Social Transformation play in the Creative Economies? – August 2012, Waterman presented a paper, Short case stories of personal collaborations, encounters and interplay in the Creative Economy.  Her other research includes an evaluation on, the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT) and Kingdom of the Netherlands Building Blocks Master Classes in Arts Management, and her research paper entitled Sustainable Leaps: Managing Marketing and Fundraising Processes at the National Arts Council – Three Year-Funded Dance Companies (2006 -2008).  Waterman’s academic interest is in Dance and Physical Theatre.

Waterman also works as an independent researcher and consultant, and in this capacity has headed and been involved in several successful rural, national and international projects.  These include: About Arts Business, Swartland Development Foundation, Malmesbury, Western Cape and Bag Factory, Johannesburg; Cultural Entrepreneurship through Tourism Take Aways; iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site (The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Authority), KwaZulu-Natal; Tshwaragano In Touch Integrated Dance Project with the British Council and the South African National Arts Council (NAC); Arts Management Skills Training for NAC, Business and Arts South Africa and ACT; and the FNB Dance Umbrella Choreographic Residency, with FNB Dance Umbrella Festival and the NAC.  She has worked closely with numerous organisations such as the Federated Union of Black Artists, the Curriculum Development Project, Cultural Radius, Create SA, the South African Qualifications Authority, Music Active and the Bag Factory  

Room: WSOA 242

Tel:      011 717 4643

Email: or


Sarah Jane Woodward (MA, UCT)

Sarah Woodward completed her Masters degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town in 2005.  She joined the Wits Drama Division in 2008, and currently teaches Voice from first to fourth year, as well as holding the Performance Studies Portfolio since 2013.  Woodward is particularly interested in the vibrant vocal exploration of student actors.  She believes in many types of vocal performance as key to exploring actor engagement, vocal texture, rhythm and pitch.  Her research focuses primarily on disordered spaces as an intersection on the voice, creating a heightened experiential engagement for the listener, and leading to a greater physical and vocal freedom for both the speaker and receiver.  She is also adamant that the pre-conceived notions around voices in South Africa need to be dismantled, especially ideas around standard speech and accent modification.   Her latest article, published in African Theatre 10 (James Currey, 2011) was titled Ownership and Power: debate and discourse in and around the subcultural phenomenon of Die Antwoord.  In her time at Wits she has directed Blood Wedding (2009), Subterranean Homesick Blues – a work-shopped production (2011) and co-directed Road with Leila Henriques (2009).  As a professional Vocal Coach her credits include iMumbo Jumbo, directed by Brett Bailey (2003), Macbeth directed by Geoffrey Hyland (2004), performed at Maynardville, and Hamlet at the Little Theatre directed by Peter Krummeck (2005).  She also works as a voice over artist, and as a dialect coach

Room: WSOA 236

Tel:      011 717 4641




The Division of Dramatic Arts also draws on the teaching and creative expertise of artists from the professional world of drama and theatre practice.