Mawa Theatre Company, is the UK’s first all Black, all female Shakespeare Company representing Women of the African diaspora. Mawa will address how Black and Black Mixed Race Women are represented in classical text and explore how Shakespeare translates to Black audiences, producing content that focuses on themes within his works that correlate with the Black community. Founded by Actresses Maisey Bawden, Gabrielle Brooks, Danielle Kassaraté and Jade Samuels, Mawa will begin to redress the imbalance within the theatre industry, be a beacon of Black female creativity and an agent for change.
London born Artistic Director, Maisey Bawden is an Actress, Mother, Singer and Creative with over 10 years experience working in the Arts and with young people. She runs her own Acting school 'The Essex School of Screen Acting'. As an Actress she has previously worked at Shakespeare’s Globe, Theatr Clwyd, Leicester Curve and The London Palladium as well as appearing on screen in You, Me and The Apocalypse (Sky 1), Eastenders (BBC), The Sound of Music Live! (ITV). After training with The National Youth Theatre and at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Maisey saw her love of Shakespeare combined with her commitment to making lasting change lead her to the birth of Mawa in Autumn 2020.
Gabrielle Brooks is a London born Actress and Creator/ Creative Producer of BlackStage UK. Founded in July 2020, Blackstage UK is a documentary style web series for anti - racist education in the UK Arts industry, centering Black and Black - mixed race voices. She has worked professionally as an actress for over 10 years performing in various West End productions and other prestigious London venues including The Young Vic Theatre, The Donmar Warehouse, The Regents Park Open Air and for The Royal Shakespeare Company. On screen work includes, Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, BBC’s J’Ouvert and Coming Down the Mountain.
‘It’s time Black Britishness stopped being excluded from the ownership of classical British art. Mawa is an amazing opportunity to centre our Black Britishness without being bound by the perception of it and I’m so excited to be a part of that. ’
Danielle Kassaraté is an Actress and trained Drama Facilitator (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) She is currently an acting tutor at Arts Educational Schools. As an Actress she has performed in various productions such as the critically acclaimed Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at Gielgud Theatre and on International Tour and in The Color Purple at Leicester Curve & Birmingham Hippodrome.
Jade Samuels is a founding member of the UKs first Black and Brown improv group Jumprov. She is the producer for Triforce Promotions Monologue Slam Midlands (Birmingham REP/Coventry Belgrade). Jade is interested in getting untold unknown stories out there, only taking on projects that align with this cause, she hopes that Mawa will create casting opportunities that wouldn't usually be afforded to Black and Black mixed women.
‘Mawa! The UK’s first all Black, all Female Shakespeare Company! I am thrilled to be associated with Mawa Theatre Company.We have waited a long time for a company like this and I’m excited to see them produce some groundbreaking, thought provoking, innovative work. The industry desperately needs more Black led female companies and I cannot wait to see Mawa break and slay new ground’