William Kentridge is one of South Africa’s greatest artists and film-makers, internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, theatre and opera productions, and has collaborated on several projects with the Handspring Puppet Company. Although Kentridge moves back and forth between media and art form, his primary activity remains drawing. Kentridge describes his work as ‘political art’ – political events are transformed into powerful poetic allegories, and his subject matter has gradually departed from a specifically South African context, to confront more general concerns of social injustice, revolutionary politics and the power of creative expression.  His work is inspired by artistic satirists such as Honoré Daumier, Francisco de Goya and William Hogarth. Between 1989 and 2003 Kentridge made a series of nine short films that he eventually gathered under the title 9 Drawings for Projection, which began with the animated film, Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris and included Felix in Exile. In 2010 Kentridge received the Kyoto Prize in recognition of his contributions in the field of arts and philosophy. In 2011 he was elected an Honorary Member of the  American  Academy  of Arts  and  Letters and awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London. Recently his work has been exhibited widely around the world at Tate Modern, Jeu de Paume and Louvre, La Scala in Milan, the Pinacoteca do Estadode São Paulo, and at the Metropolitan Opera and Museum of Modern Art in New York. His opera production of Berg’s Lulu, a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera New York, the English National Opera and the Dutch National Opera, recently opened in Amsterdam and will première in New York in November 2015.  

Jane Taylor is a South African who now holds the Wole Soyinka Chair of Theatre at the University of Leeds. She is a creative writer as well as a scholar, curator and theatre director. Her primary areas of scholarship include early modern theatre studies. In particular Taylor has an interest in the Reformation and its impact on modes of staging the Self. For some years she has been engaged in the study of puppetry arts and has written two puppet plays for Handspring Puppet Company and William Kentridge; and edited the recent study “Handspring Puppet Company”. In 1996 she established “FaultLines,” a series of arts responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa; at which time she wrote the play text of Ubu and the Truth Commission. She has lectured frequently on the Art and the Politics of transitional justice. She has published frequently on the work of WIlliam Kentridge and is currently finishing a manuscript for the University of Chicago on Kentridge’s production of The Nose at the New York Metropolitan Opera. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Oxford and at Cambridge, and has been the recipient of Mellon and Rockefeller Fellowships.

 Busi Zokufa (Ma Ubu) is a teacher, actress, singer, puppeteer, storyteller and writer. She was trained as a puppeteer by Handspring Puppet Company and has toured internationally in their productions of Starbites, Ubu and the Truth Commission, Faustus in Africa, The Confessions of Zeno and Woyzeck on the Highveld, and appeared in Return of Ulysses directed by William Kentridge. She received Best Actress Nomination for the Vita Awards in 1998. Other theatre credits include Sister Plus, Slings and Arrows and Ma’s Got The Blues; television credits include Khayeluthu, Home Affairs, Isidingo and Generation.

 Dawid Minnaar (Pa Ubu) has worked extensively in South Africa on stage, and in television and film. Theatre credits include Purgatorio (Baxter Theatre, Cape Town), and the title role in an Afrikaans translation of Macbeth. Other credits with Handspring include Faustus in Africa and The Confessions of Zeno. He recently played Afrikaans poet and naturalist Eugène Marais in the film Die Wonderwerker (The Miracle Worker).

 Ubu and the Truth Commission is produced by Handspring Puppet Company in association with Quaternaire. The show is co-presented by Print Room and Quaternaire. The show is co-produced by Edinburgh International Festival (United Kingdom), The Taipei Arts Festival and Taipei Culture Foundation (Taiwan), Festival de Marseille _ danse et arts multiples (France), Onassis Cultural Centre (Greece), Cal Performances Berkeley (USA), BOZAR Brussels (Belgium) with support by National Arts Festival, South Africa.