Mkawasi Mcharo Hall
Director / Instructor
Mkawasi was born and raised in Kenya.
She debuted her directing career with Moliere's Tartuffe at the University of Nairobi, and wrote her first play, The Scroungers, in 1992. Since then, she has written over a dozen plays and directed in Kenya, Ethiopia, New York City and in Washington, DC.
Her directorial credits include Pambazuka (1996: Kenya National Theatre, Ethiopian National Theatre; 2005: Van Ness Auditorium at University of the District of Columbia; 2009: University of Maryland); Subira (1997: Kenya National Theatre); The Bride (1999: Frederick Loews Theatre, NY) Secrets (2000: The Riant, NY); Hush (2007: Delaski Theatre - Sitar Center, Peoples Media Center, St. Stephen's Auditorium - Washington, DC); Home 1, 2 and 3 (2008: Peoples Media Center), The Educator (2012: Umoja House, Washington, DC), among others.
As an Instructor, Mkawasi has taught film and TV arts at the John Robert Powers School in Rockville, MD; Theatre Arts at Southeastern University in Washington, DC; and stage arts with Balozi Productions's Actors Craft course. She also writes short stories, poetry, essays, literary monuments and thotlines. See tall tales and all.
Mkawasi earned her Masters in Theatre Arts from Hunter College in New York City, graduated from La Guardia Performing Arts Center in New York City, where she studied Arts Administration, and completed a Directing Fellowship at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.
Over the years, Mkawasi has also developed a love for Diplomacy. As a diaspora representative, she has initiated and led several projects, working closely with diplomats in achieving the diaspora agenda. She finds an intriguing co-relation between performing arts and diplomacy, both being the practice of shifting paradigms and achieving goals through creative persuation.
Preston was born and raised in Chicago.
He studied Aeronautical Engineering at Aero-Space Institute in Chicago and Electronic Technology with the Cleveland Institute of Electronics. He later joined the US Air Force where he became a Satellite Communications expert and served in Alaska and the Philippines.
Preston later joined Dow Jones and Co., where he worked as a Satellite Communications Technician. As a Manager at the IT department, he designed the EIRP (Effective Isotropic Radiated Power) Remote Control System used for the satellite TDMA network of 17 earth stations.
He has run his own business as a dealer and installer of satellite Internet systems for SkyWay-USA, Skycasters, DIRECTV and WildBlue,serving private homes, government and military facilities across the Mid-Atlantic states. He designed the SpotBeam Console aimed at bringing videoconferencing technology in Kenya's classrooms. Its implementation is still a work in progress.
Preston holds a General Radiotelephone Federal Communications Commission license; certification in the dealership and installation of Ka-band VSATs using frequency-reuse spot beam technology, through WildBlue University; and is certified in computer hardware, operating systems and networks. He is also a programmer who has severally given his services freely to diaspora projects such as the Kenya Presidential Debates and the Kenyans Abroad Vote initiatives.
Preston is currently a technician with Vitel Communications. He also handles the Producer and Technical Director duties of Balozi Productions-US, which include sound engineering, lighting and set design.