Acclaimed Actor, Director to Visit EMU

A noted performance scholar, actor and director, Mshai S. Mwangola, PhD, will be sharing her gifts in literature and rhythm with the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) community on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

“The opportunity for EMU students to interact with a performer and scholar of this caliber is a fantastic gift,” said Heidi Winters Vogel, chair of EMU’s theater department. “Dr. Mwangola speaks to the power of storytelling and theater to build community.”

A native of Kenya, Mwangola’s pedagogy, research and creative work are grounded in understanding performance as process and as the product on meaning-making. “She has performed, conducted workshops, researched and worked with and for diverse performance ensembles and individuals on four continents, with a career stretching over 25 years, primarily in acting, directing and story-telling, focusing on African literature by women,” according to her website.

Schedule of events

Mwangola will be offering a workshop on women’s voices with ties to literature at 1 p.m., Nov. 15. Admission is free and open to the general public.

Her second workshop will focus on drumming, chanting and working with rhythm at 3 p.m., Nov. 15. Admission is free but limited to the first 15 respondents. Contact the EMU theater department to register at

Mwangola will give a performance on three African short stories by women: New Life at Kyerafaso, Dressing the Dirge and To Be Feminist Is…, 8 p.m., on the mainstage theater.

About Mwangola

Mwangola earned her PhD in performance studies from Northwestern University in Chicago. She is chairperson of the Governing Council of the Kenya Cultural Center and serves as vice-chairperson of the Uraia Trust.

For more information and to RSVP contact the EMU theater department at 540-432-4360 or