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Celebrate Imagination with Alliance Theater's Tinashe Kajase-Bolden

Article by Erikka Searles Mitchell

Originally published in SOFU Lifestyle

There’s a proverb from Zimbabwe that states: "If you can envision it, you can accomplish it. If you can imagine it, you can reach the heavens." Tinashe Kajase-Bolden came all the way from Zimbabwe to pursue a degree in theater, New York City and Broadway-bound! She says that she got her start as an actor, but she knew that the “breadth of storytelling could be so much broader.”  She later moved to LA, where she continued to explore with her eye for visual storytelling through structure. “My journey was clearly headed to directing. I asked her how Atlanta got so lucky to have her. She said she had met her husband Keith in LA and he had been offered a position at Spelman College. It was here in Atlanta where she caught the eye of Susan Booth and Jody Feldman, where Kajase-Bolden had her professional directorial debut with a show written by fellow Zimbabwean Danai Guirera at Synchronicity called Eclipsed. It was here in Atlanta where she found her artistic home at the illustrious Alliance Theatre. She and Booth developed a close mentor/mentee relationship as Susan helped Tinashe hone her craft.

Now as the BOLD Associate Artistic Director at the Alliance Theatre, she also provides leadership of the Reiser Lab, and the Spelman Fellows program. In addition, she serves as director on shows such as the groundbreaking Toni Stone and she will serve as the associate director of the all-new revamped Trading Places. Toni Stone was a triumph on its own, one of the best pieces of art that I’ve seen on stage in Atlanta. Kajase-Bolden speaks about how she highlighted the intersection of racism and sexism where we find the main character. She was able to pull back the theatrical curtain, using the onstage props to serve many uses. She knows her audience is smart and took advantage of the opportunity to “celebrate imagination.”   

I can’t express how excited I am to see this new imagining of the 1983 Eddie Murphy film that features a Black female lead who uses her wit to get ahead. She works with Kenny Leon to bring this vision to the stage in what she calls a full-circle moment. Kajase-Bolden has worked with Leon previously in School Girls: Or the African Mean Girls Play, written by Jocelyn Bioh, right here in #SoFu. With humor, physical comedy, excellent music and choreography by the incomparable Fatima Robinson, this new Trading Spaces is a must-see! Join Tinashe Kajase-Bolden and the award-winning Alliance Theatre will present what she calls a “fun celebration of overcoming odds and obstacles,” starting on May 25 and running through June 26.  For tickets, visit

  • The groundbreaking production of Toni Stone