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Requiem for an Electric Chair
Studio Theatre
Washington D.C. , DC
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Requiem for an Electric Chair
This performance is presented by Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI), as part of AFI's Radical Recitations arts festival, held November 15-18 in Washington D.C. and NYC. This festival celebrates the human right to artistic freedom, and the radical power of storytelling to catalyze social change.

Toto Kisaku is an award-winning Congolese playwright, actor, director and producer. Detained for putting on plays critical of the Congolese government, Toto arrived in the United States in late 2015 seeking political asylum, which he was granted in March of 2018.

His one-man play, Requiem For An Electric Chair, tells the story of his persecution in and eventual exile from Congo, and opens with his interview with a U.S. immigration officer. Through this narrative, Toto shares the story of his arrest, imprisonment, and near death in Congo, and the way his art ultimately saved his life.

In his work, Toto explores themes of transgression, oppression, and poverty, often challenging the boundaries between performance and daily life. Toto is the 2019 International Festival of Arts & Ideas Artist-in-Residence. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Freedom to Create Prize, presented in Cairo, Egypt. The prize is a celebration of the courage and creativity of artists, and the positive influence of their work to promote social justice and inspire the human spirit. Toto was also the recipient of the 2018 Rebecca Blunk Fund award, granted by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Toto has been featured in NPR, ArtForum, and Washington Times.


Requiem for an Electric Chair is part of Artistic Freedom Initiative's Radical Recitations festival, held November 15-18 in partnership with Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and Studio Theatre. Festival details at

Led by immigration and human rights attorneys, Artistic Freedom Initiative (AFI) facilitates pro bono immigration representation and resettlement assistance to international artists who have been persecution or censored for their work. Further, AFI partners with arts and culture institutions, galleries, and performance spaces to create opportunities for artists in our network to showcase their work. AFI is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is based in New York City.


Studio Theatre (View)
1501 14th St NW
Washington D.C. , DC 20005
United States


Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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