MotherTongue People


Sara Matchett - Artistic Director and Co-founder

Sara holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance from the University of Cape Town. She is a senior lecturer in the Department of Drama at UCT. Her teaching profile centres on practical and academic courses which include, voice, acting, theatre-making, applied drama/theatre, and performance analysis. She is especially interested in interdisciplinary modes of creating. Her research focuses on explorations into breath as a catalyst for making autobiographical performance, with particular focus on the relationship between breath, emotion and image. As co-founder and Artistic Director of The Mothertongue Project, a women’s arts collective, Sara has experience in the field of theatre in South Africa, Singapore, India, Kenya and Indonesia as a theatre-maker, performer, director and facilitator. Sara is also an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®.


Rehane Abrahams - Co-Founder

Rehane Abrahams is a South African actor, writer and director and theatremaker from Cape Town. She graduated from the UCT Drama School and has worked on stage, in film and television in her native Cape Town as well as in the UK and USA. Rehane has recently moved back to South Africa from Indonesia where she produced and directed a theatre company, theatre firefly. After many years making theatre as well as directing and choreographing, she is looking forward to returning to her first love, acting. Rehane is a Director on TMP’s Board and co-founder of The Mothertongue Project.


Makgathi Mokwena - Programmes Director

Makgathi is a qualified dance/movement therapist with an Honours Degree in Speech and Drama from Rhodes; a Masters in Dance Movement Therapy from Antioch University (USA) and a Doctorate in Psychology from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). She is a registered expressive arts therapist with the Health Professional Board of South Africa. Her passion lies in facilitating healing and transformational processes with individuals and groups. Her interests include issues related to gender, spirituality, race and the arts. She is a published author, an experienced facilitator in the field of leadership development, presentation skills and personal excellence. In 2010 Makgathi re-entered the theatre world and performed in Washa Mollo at the National Arts Festival in June/July 2010. She enjoys dancing, cooking, reading, yoga, running, Shiraz and vegetable gardening.


Nina Callaghan - Associate Director

Nina is the Associate Director at the Children’s Radio Foundation, where she manages local partnerships and projects and is a youth media trainer. Before this she spent eight years as a television journalist and sub-editor. After graduating with a BA from the University of Cape Town in 1996, she went on to perform and devise theatre with Iindiza, the Mielie Stalks Theatre company. Much of their work was based on physical theatre principles with an added focus on training youth using drama to connect divided communities. She went on to perform and tour in Ireland and the UK. Nina is particularly interested in storytelling, finding the hidden narrative that lives in our inner worlds. She is inspired by the resilience of children and youth and the strong personal visions many young people have for their lives.


Marlene Hamilton - Project Administrator

Marlene is a mother of 3 grown sons. She worked in the hospitality industry for almost 25 years. During this time she was involved in various organisations. Marlene worked as a volunteer for World Vision, McGregor Waldorf School and SANTA. Marlene joined Mothertongue in 2011 and co-ordinated the projects in the Langeberg region. Her vision is to have a healthy, safe and happy community where children grow up to become self honouring and responsible adults. She is a firm believer in change through the creative arts and has seen first- hand how The Mothertongue Project has made a difference in the lives of the young people in the programme. Marlene has a keen knowledge of her community and always strives for excellence in her environment.


Veronica Baxter - Associate Professor, University of Cape Town

Veronica Baxter has taught at South African and UK universities, focusing on social/applied theatre and drama, directing and South African performance. She is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and teaches and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Drama department, University of Cape Town. Her research is mainly concerned with applied/social theatre and arts-based research working in health, education and social justice contexts. In recent years she has partnered with health professionals around the tuberculosis epidemic, conducting a theatre-in-health-education project in schools, an arts-based research project in occupational health, and an arts festival. She also writes about South African performance. Her most recent publications are chapters in Applied Theatre: Development (Tim Prentki, 2015), Methuen Drama Guide to South African Theatre (Middeke, Schnierer and Homann, 2015) and New Territories: Reconfiguring Theatre and Drama in post-apartheid South Africa; (Maufort and Homann, 2015), the 3rd edition of Learning through Theatre (Jackson and Vine, 2013), and Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, protocols, pedagogies and resistances (Nelson, 2013) She also guest edited the South African Theatre Journal, 26:3 (2013). The book Applied Theatre: Performing Health and Wellbeing, edited and written with Katharine Low (Royal Central School, University of London), was published January 2017.