Writers & Collaborators

Book: A collaboration between Paavo Tom Tammi, Michael Lessac and The Truth in Translation Company of Actors with additional dialogue by Craig Higginson and Paul Selig.




Paavo Tom Tammi: Writer / Collaborator

Writing credits: Plays: The Down Town Gun Club, Cinema Soldier, Chunnel, Yucca Flats, Old Guys. Screenplays: The Find, A Ghost in the Music (from a John Nichols’ novel of the same title).

Acting credits (Tom Tammi):  Broadway: The Visit, with Jane Alexander; Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, with Alec McGowan, John Osborne’s A Patriot for Me with Maximillian Schell.

Off-Broadway: The Last Dance and Mad Forest, Manhattan Theatre Club; She Stoops to Conquer and Conditions of Agreement, Roundabout Theatre. He was a founding member and Associate Artistic Director of CTL. He has performed in regional theatres across the USA and England.

TV: Deadline, Big Apple, Law and Order, Law and Order SUV, Homicide, St Elsewhere, War and Remembrance, All my Children, Guiding Light, Edge of Night and As the World Turns.
Films: Sometimes in April, A Gentleman’s Game, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Confession, Private Parts, She’s The One, Clear and Present Danger, Sleepless in Seattle, Diner.


Michael Lessac: Creator / Director

Link to bio


South African Company of Actors

Link to bios
The original company of actors contributed powerfully to the development and the content of this piece: Quanita Adams, Nick Boraine, Andrew Buckland, Sibulele Gcilitshana, Bongani Gumede, Robert Koen, Jeroen Kranenburg, Sandile Matsheni, Fana Mokoena, Thembi Mtshali-Jones and Jenny Stead. In prior workshops, the following actors also contributed generously: Helen Iskander, Hugh Masebenza, Mmabatho Mogomotsi, Lerato Moloi, Paul Savage, Celeste Matthews-Wannenberg and Lionel Newton.


Craig Higginson: Writer / Additional Dialogue

After studying at the University of the Witwatersrand, Craig worked as Barney Simon’s assistant at the Market Theatre. He then worked in London from 1996-2004 as a director, dramaturge and assistant director for theatre companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Young Vic, the Hampstead Theatre and the Oxford School of Drama. His first play, Laughter in the Dark, premiered at the RSC in 2000. He later adapted Laughter in the Dark as a radio play for BBC Radio 3 (2004). It won the Gold Sony Award in the UK for 2004/2005. In 2006, he adapted Lord of the Flies for the Market Theatre, and in 2007, his play Dream of the Dog was produced by the Market. Craig is the dramaturge and Literary Manager of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. 


Paul Selig: Writer / Additional Dialogue

Paul Selig’s work for the stage has been produced internationally and includes plays, operas, solo-performance work and text for dance. Recent work includes the stage adaptation of War Letters, commissioned by the Sundance Institute and performed by Treat Williams and Mario Van Peebles, a new book for On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, directed in readings by Michael Mayer, the one-woman play Mystery School, performed by Tyne Daly and additional material for the national tour of Tallulah with Kathleen Turner. Other plays include Terminal Bar, Moon City, and The Pompeii Traveling Show (NY Drama League Award). He wrote the libretti for a trilogy of commissioned operas with composer Kim D. Sherman, Red Tide, Long Island Dreamer and Lamentations, and collaborated with Shapiro and Smith Dance Company on Notes from a Séance and Never Enough. He is currently working on Poe: The Haunted Musical commissioned by James Van Praagh’s One Light Productions.  He serves on the faculty of the NYU Dramatic Writing Program and is the director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College.


TRC Interpreters

We would like to give particular thanks to the following TRC interpreters for their stories, insight and wisdom, and for the guidance they gave to us during our research for this project: Khethiwe Mboweni-Marais; Louis Nel; Charlene Dobson; Nomusa Zulu; Angela Sobey; Siphithi Mona; Wisani Sibuyi; Abubaakr Peterson and Sidney Mokobe. 


Script Credits

“The Cry of Winnie Mandela” by Njabulo S Ndebele, “Da Same Da Same” by Sipho Sepamla, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Country of My Skull” by Antjie Krog, TRC Final Report, Special Report - SABC, Yale University School of Law, Max Du Preez, and the testimony of countless thousands who contributed to the stories told at the TRC. Click here for Yale Law Library’s TRC Videotape Collection.

© The Colonnades Theatre Lab, Inc. USA [501(c)3] and The Colonnades Theatre Lab SA [Section 21]