Terms of Reference for consultancy to design and execute a theatre play

February 8, 2022

With this ToR Hivos is seeking consultants to:

Design and Execute a Theatre Play About any of the Three Thematic Areas Below:

  1. The absurdity of Kenyan elections – (applicants must be a theatre group in Kenya)
  2. African Solutions for African Problems – (applicants can be a theatre group from, Uganda, or Tanzania)

Region: Africa
Office: Kenya
Hours: To be discussed
Application deadline: February 28 4 PM EAT

Are you interested in partnering with us in ensuring societies are more open and inclusive? Do you want to contribute to safeguarding the participation of underrepresented groups demanding social justice?

About Hivos

Hivos is an international development organization guided by humanist values. Together with citizens and their organizations, we aim to contribute towards just, inclusive and life-sustaining societies where people have equal access to opportunities, rights and resources. We work in partnership with others in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America on three impact areas: civic rights; gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and climate justice. Our approach is solution driven, and we build wider movements for change by amplifying and connecting voices.

About R.O.O.M

Currently, HIVOS is continuing with its long history of support to artists and makers through the Resource Of Open Minds (R.O.O.M) project. ROOM seeks to deploy creative forces in the defense of civic space through supporting a new generation of makers to produce critical content. Critical content in the context of ROOM means creative content that counters hegemonic narratives in society hence generating dialogue, debate, and dissent across different socio-political issues.

Assignment Background

Creatives play an important role in forging pluralism as a key facet of democracy in our societies. They do this through making content that encourages conversation about different issues in society and in some cases eventually leading to change and transformation in society. The ROOM project for example supports the production of audio-visual content that encourages dialogue, debate, and dissent in society. The project has so far worked with 27 grantees across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to produce different kinds of content touching on diverse thematic interests like accountability in use of COVID-19 mitigation funding, championing gender equality, refugee rights, and even mental health in the creative sector from 2017 to 2022.

With this background, Hivos would now like to work with theatre practitioners in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to design and stage plays in the three countries according to the thematic areas mentioned above.

Since 2017, the ROOM project has been working with creatives across East Africa to achieve the outcomes below:

  1. Makers become more self-sufficient
  2. Makers are more independent.
  3. Makers produce more critical content
  4. Makers reach wider audiences
  5. Creative hubs have increased capacity to facilitate audio-visual productions.

Currently, ROOM’s partners are:

  1. Young makers (between 15 and 35 years) across all genders who are creating culture and media productions that are critical of certain aspects of society thus leading to dialogue, debate, and dissent, and
  2. The creative hubs and communities where these makers operate from. These range from studios, cafes, production houses, networks, platforms, collectives, libraries, and maker spaces.
  3. All participants will be creatives and CSOs from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
    It is our belief that this activity would help in attainment of these objectives by offering support to the theatre community that has been hit hard by the restrictions brought in by COVID-19 especially considering when social gatherings were disallowed.

The Assignment

In Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, theatre has been a site of satirizing society while nurturing expression and educating society. At different points in the political history of the three countries, theatre has provided a safe space for experimentation and innovation for creatives of different sorts often involved in staging a successful presentation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the theatre industry has been one of the most gravely affected owing to the social gathering restrictions and working from home directives meant to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In recognition of the above two issues, and an appreciation of the public’s love for theatre in the three countries, Hivos would like to partner with theatre professionals to spread the message of open, just societies through partnering with them to produce human rights promoting messaging in the commissioned plays.

R.O.O.M project would now like to commission three theatre groups from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to design and produce three plays about the below mentioned 2 thematic areas:

  1. The absurdity of Kenyan elections – (applicants must be a theatre group in Kenya)
  2. African Solutions for African Problems – (applicants can be a theatre group from Uganda, or Tanzania)

The plays are meant to:

  1. Sensitize the public on diverse issues touched on by the thematic area.
  2. Have a historical perspective of the chosen topic as even as the present situation is highlighted. This is aimed at sparking dialogue and debate as per the R.O.O.M program aspirations.

The commissioned group will have full artistic freedom and editorial independence to design and execute as they wish with the following conditions:

  1. Messaging must be human rights promoting and not retrogressive in any way.
  2. Messaging, though satirical, should also bring out the bright side of Africa and humanity.
  3. The main target audience is adults above 18-35 years.

Scope of the Assignment/Deliverables

Going by the above, this assignment involves the following:

  1. Designing a 1 hour max theatre play with the above mentioned details in mind to be staged twice.
  2. Taking a high-quality video recording of the play for it to be uploaded on an agreed online platform where the team can get revenue from streams of the play after its showing.
  3. Providing an activity report (narrative and financial) of delivery of the assignment from the conceptualization stage to the final stage after the play has been uploaded online.
  4. Audio, photo and short video snippets of the final production that will be shared on social media and other digital platforms for promotional and educational purposes.
  5. Stage pubic performances of the play in two selected venues first per country in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Consultant Qualifications and Experience

  1. Demonstrated experience in staging theatre plays in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
  2. Demonstrated experience with producing high quality video recordings of said production.
  3. Proof of similar work done before. Can be video recordings of previous productions.


The duration of the activity is 3 months max starting date of contracting.

How To Apply

All applications should be sent to the address eastafricajobs@hivos.org by February 28, 2022 4PM EAT with the following information:

  1. One page synopsis of the proposed play. Be keen to express what makes your ‘idea’ unique.
  2. One page cover letter detailing why you should be commissioned to produce this.
  3. One page budget detailing all involved costs including venue hire, videography, remuneration of team members.
  4. Registration documents and proof of tax compliance.
  5. Samples of previous work done before.

The email subject should read: Application for theatre play commission

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.