The Winter/Summer Institute

Make Theatre Make a Difference


Since 2006, the Winter/Summer Institute (WSI) has been working to make theatre in Lesotho, southern Africa that makes a difference in the region's fight against HIV/AIDS.

Launched by eight colleagues from the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), the Republic of South Africa (RSA), and Lesotho, WSI is a multicultural, collaborative effort among faculty facilitators and student performers from three continents as well as community participants from the rural mountain villages of Lesotho's Malealea Valley. Our biennial program challenges participants to create issue-based, aesthetically provocative, entertaining theatre.

From its inception, the focus of WSI has been a response to the community health situation in Lesotho. Along with much of sub-Saharan Africa, Lesotho has a staggering HIV infection rate—currently estimated at over 23% ยน (the 3rd highest in the world), and disproportionately affecting young women between 18 and 24. As part of addressing the pandemic, WSI examines the ways in which complex social issues impact the spread of the virus. Read more about our work.


Music is Everywhere
Kae Kapa Kae Ke Mmino

We recently completed a new CD of some of the songs from our most recent performances in Lesotho. You can listen to cuts and watch video here.

To date, WSI has included students and faculty from: the National University of Lesotho; the State University of New York, Empire State College, New York City (US); the University of Sunderland (UK); and the University of the Witwatersrand (RSA):


WSI 2011 Participants: Deanna Bergdorf, Chris Dunton, Earlecia Gibb, Anna Gutto, Nancy Herard-Marshall, Ithabeleng Khotle, Ntombi Khumalo, Canedy Knowles, Thabo Leketanyane, Sakoane “Calvin” Lesoetsa, Katt Lissard, Sekoai Mahlaka, Tshegofatso Makhafola, Rethabile Malibo, Molobane “Mimi” Moatshe, Mohapi Moeketsi, Thabang Mokete, Selloane Mokuku, Matsoso “China” Monyatsi, Ndwamato “Enos” Mudau, Sibongile Nkosi, Nyaisi Tlali, Sele Radebe, Moso Ranoosi, 'Mabotho Ramaphoma, Margarita Ramos, Jussara Santos-Raxlen, Lunga Seele, Ithateleng “Itee” Sesinyi, Melissa Shetler, Khants'i Soldart, Alta Van As, Lucy Winner.


WSI 2008 Participants: Gillian Attwood, Brooke Bassin, Deanna Bergdorf, Boreng Hlalele, Ed Hodson, Lucy Kennedy, Palesa Koloko, Katt Lissard, Likonelo Majara, Tshegofatso Makhafola, Jerry Maleke, Popa 'Maleng, Rethabile Malibo, Rob Matthews, Rethabile Mokete, Selloane Mokuku, Katleho 'Moleli, Julius S. Nkosi, Linda Oliphant, Sele Radebe, Molomo Ramothello, Jussara Santos-Raxlen, Moso Ranoosi, Lisemelo Sefotho, Ithateleng Sesinyi, Melissa Shetler, Sophy Lebogang Sito, Despina Stamos, Denise Toricollo, Ken Triwush, Alta Van As, Lucy Winner, Simpiwe Banzi Zondo.


WSI 2006 Participants: Gillian Attwood, Jacqueline Cadger, Phumlani Dimon, Tamu Favorite, Eric Feinblatt, Kim Hess, Ufoma Komon, Ditchaba Lekaota, Lereko Lekena, Katt Lissard, Rethabile Malibo, Neil Marshall, 'Masoai Matala, Kath McCreery, Bernie McLaughlin, Relebohile Mokone, Selloane Mokuku, Litšeo Mosenene, Marjorie Moser, Thobile Mtsweni, Mosele Peshoane, Sara Owen, Thembeni Phoseka, Jussara Santos-Raxlen, 'Matašepo Sethunya, Melissa Shetler, Sele Radebe, Moso Ranoosi, Motjoka Ramonono, Alta Van As, Rik Walton, Nigel Watson, Lucy Winner.

1 World Health Organization. HIV/AIDS epidemiological fact sheet 2008: Lesotho.
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July 2017
Launch of The WSI Field Guide: Make Theatre * Make A Difference
New York, NY
August 2017
WSI USA Heartland Residency
Chattanooga, Tennessee