Kaulana Williams (she/ her) is a coloured performing artist and theatre maker from Cape Town, South Africa. She holds an MA in Theatre Studies from Stellenbosch University and a BA (Hons) in Drama from the University of Cape Town. She teaches theatre arts, has written plays, has directed her own work, acted for film and stage, and created and performed several of her own performance art/ live art pieces.
Kaulana’s practice has always been concerned with coloured identity within the specific historical and social context of the Cape; particularly from the lens of the woman. She uses her writing and performing to explore her own ancestry and the impact that history has had on her life and art. Kaulana’s work has also evolved to include exploring themes of violence and trauma on the psyche and on the body; particularly as it manifests in South Africa’s epidemic of gender-based violence.
Her first play “A Girl’s Best Friend” was written and staged in Cape Town and at the National Arts Festival Fringe in Makhanda in 2009.
This was followed by her play “Pocket Shots” in 2011, which also had a performance run in Cape Town and in Makhanda. Kaulana’s first play written in Kaaps was staged as a performed reading at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town as part of the New Voices programme in 2019. It is called “The After Party” and was directed by Lee-Ann Van Rooi. Her play “Desperanza” was one of the ten plays selected for the inaugural African Women Playwrights Network (AWPN) Festival of Reading New Plays in Accra, Ghana in 2022.