Talawa Theatre Company is led by Artistic Director Michael Buffong. Talawa Theatre Company is the 'go to' company for producing new black work, enabling emerging artists to showcase their work before influential audiences through initiatives like Talawa Firsts, the Script Reading Service and Studio Firsts. In addition, Talawa produces a touring production annually. The touring production is a high quality production of a classic piece of theatre, re-imagined for the 21st Century.
Talawa was set up in 1986 by Yvonne Brewster, Mona Hammond, Carmen Munroe, and Inigo Espejel. Talawa Theatre Company was the first professional Black theatre company in Britain.
Funding from the Greater London Council's Race Equality Unit as part of the 'Black Experience Arts Programme' enabled Talawa’s first production, CLR James’ The Black Jacobins. Since then funding from The Arts Council of England has enabled Talawa to become a National Portfolio Organisation and the primary publicly funded Black theatre company in the UK.
In the 30 years since its inception, Talawa Theatre Company has produced more than 40 notable and acclaimed productions including: The Black Jacobins by CLR James; The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde; Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear and Othello by William Shakespeare; The Road by Wole Soyinka; The Lion by Michael Abbensetts; 'Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford; Blues for Mr Charlie by James Baldwin; The Crucible by Arthur Miller; Rum and Coca Cola by Mustapha Matura; Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, and All My Sons by Arthur Miller.