The Woman Who Would Be King

One woman show • Running Time: 65 mins
Written & Performed By Esosa E | Dramaturgy by Magda Romanska | Direction by Wynne Bredenkamp
Before Cleopatra, Nefertiti, or Joan of Arc...there was Hatshepsut, The Woman Who Would Be King.

This fictional one woman play written and performed by Esosa E., is inspired by the life of Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh and her journey to the throne. Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, and is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an Egyptian dynasty. Known for establishing prosperous trade routes, and launching elaborate building projects, toward the end of the reign of her successor Thutmose III, an attempt was made to remove Hatshepsut from pharaonic records. Her images were literally chiseled off many stone walls, leaving very obvious gaps in the artwork. According to Egyptologists she is known as one of the first great women in history.

Magda Romanska is Associate Professor of Dramaturgy and Theatre Studies at Emerson College, and a Research Associate at Harvard University's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. She has also been Visiting Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Visiting Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts at Harvard University. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University’s program in Modern Thought and Literature, she earned her Ph.D. from Cornell University’s Department of Theater, Film, and Dance in 2006.  While she was a graduate student, she was a special student at Yale School of Drama and visiting scholar in the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale University. 
A wide-ranging and prolific scholar and practitioner, she recently wrote an important new study of great Polish directors, The Post-traumatic Theatre of Grotowski and Kantor (2012); authored a play, Opheliamachine (2013), which had its premiere in Los Angeles; and was sole editor of The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy (2014), the most comprehensive anthology ever of its kind.   Her two co-edited anthologies, Reader in Comedy: An Anthology of Theory and Criticism and The Theatre of Tadeusz Kantor are forthcoming in 2016.
Romanska served as the dramaturg for the Boston Lyric Opera, Yale Rep, and SITI Company.  In addition, she is the co-founder and co-Executive Director of the Theatre Times website (launching this summer at, which will include 45 global editors and will connect an international community to facilitate transcontinental collaborative models.    In addition to serving as Esosa’s dramaturg she is also developing her own multimedia opera, The Life and Times of Stephen Hawking.  

Tarus Mateen’s creative genius and mastery of acoustic bass, electric bass, rhythm guitar, and piano make him one of the most sought-after musician/producers in hip-hop, house, blues, rock, reggae, soul, and straight ahead jazz.  He is quite possibly the only musician to receive critical acclaim in all these musical genres at once. Since 1996, there has not been a Top 10 jazz album that didn’t feature Tarus Mateen.  This is a phenomenal feat for any artist, certainly for one of only 48 years in age. 

Tommy Hilfiger.  Monica.  Betty Carter.  Common.  Terence Blanchard.  Outkast.  Goodie Mob.  Korn. Bernard Purdie.  The Roots.  Sly and Robbie.  Jason Moran.  Speech.  Ice Cube.  Milt Jackson.  George Benson.  Joe Clausell.  Marc Cary.  Sean “Puffy” Combs.  Christina Aguilera.  All superstars in their own right, each member of this group sought the light of Tarus Mateen so that they could shine their brightest. 

Known in the jazz world as a genius on bass, his first instrument was actually the piano.  A consummate artist, Tarus isn’t afraid to explore any musical genre.  His repertoire says it all.  Two of hip hop’s shining southern stars, groups Outkast and Goodie Mob, can credit their critical acclaim, and platinum commercial success with Tarus’s contributions to their albums.  He is consistently requested for performances and studio sessions with R&B and hip hop artists including Q-Tip, Lauryn Hill, Ghostface, Ice Cube, and The Roots. Tarus was the bassist of choice for Lauryn Hill in 2002 to jumpstart her studio performances. Tarus has also made his mark on film with trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard on the scores for Sugar Hill, and for the Spike Lee film Malcolm X, as well as the Grammy nominated Malcolm X Jazz Suite. Playing as part of a new generation of jazz crusaders, with award winning artists such as Jason Moran, Nasheet Waits, Marc Cary and Roy Hargrove, Tarus is the world’s best  bassist.  Find out more about him on

Wynne Bredenkamp is a theatre maker, casting director and actress who graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinction in a BA in Theatre Making and Performance. In her final year of study, she was a co-winner for the Most Promising Student Writer award, as part of UCT’s performance of Behind Every Yawn is a Silent Shout in the National Arts Festival student programme.  Writing, directing and producing her own work, she attended the NAF professionally the next year and won a Standard Bank Ovation Award for her first production, Salt, as well as a PANSA New Writing Award. This year, Wynne is set to be part of the Theatre Arts Admin Collective Emerging Director Bursary and will assistant direct under Greg Karvellas Clyborn Park, set to run at the Fugard Theatre. In addition to being casting director at The Casting Studio and Traffik Studio, Wynne tutors the Live Performance classes at AFDA, Cape Town, and has directed year-end work such as Reza De Wet's Good Heavens and the Oresteia, Agamemnon.

Esosa E. is an award winning producer, writer, actress, health expert, and fashion designer who was named a “Young African Visionary” by Obaseema Magazine and included in Applause Africa's list of “30 Most Intriguing Africans in NY." Currently she plays the role of Ngozi on the hit international TV and web series An African City, which has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CNN, Vogue, EBONY, ELLE Magazine (France, South Africa, & Sweden), Glamour Magazine (France), International Business Times, Madame Noire, Forbes Africa and more. She is currently attached to star in a number of different film and television projects with acclaimed filmmakers worldwide including Rise of the Orisha, a superhero movie inspired by African mythology. Esosa is a graduate of Cornell University where she earned a B.S. in Textiles & Apparel Design and studied Directing, Producing, and Marketing Management at Columbia University. For more information visit:

Recent Press: ELLE Magazine South Africa

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Prefer to speak to a human? You can book by telephone on 021.300.1652. We might have to call you back if the bar is very busy.
Under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or by an adult with consent from a parent or guardian.
Seating is unreserved. All the seats are good seats but please arrive in good time to make sure you can sit together.
Also we unfortunately don’t have any wheelchair access to our theatre. There is 1 flight of steps.