We are excited to announce our 7th annual theatre and literacy workshops in Zanzibar this May.  GETheatre core member, Ashley Olson, who is now a resident of Zanzibar, will be working with Lianne Bettis to lead the students at Kiembe Samaki through GET’s unique play-building process.

This is our 5th collaboration with the students at Kiembe Samaki in Stone Town.  We have now seen many of our former students return to see their younger siblings work with GET’s teaching artists and to participate as assistants during the process.  It continues to be a pleasure to work with these remarkable young people and learn about their continued success after our program.  We look forward to sharing updates with you as the workshops get underway!


Ashley Olson:

After running another successful GETZanzibar program in 2012, Ashley stayed in Zanzibar to take on a new professional challenge. She took a job creating and teaching a primary program at a small, non-profit school in the east coast of the island. She quickly became the School Director & Primary Teacher at Kiwengwa Nursery and Primary School. Ashley has spent the last nine months turning what was once a small daycare into a fully functioning school recognized by Zanzibar’s Ministry of Education. Based on the principles of cooperative learning, individualized instruction, and arts integration, Ashley hopes that the school will provide a fresh approach to education on the island. The success is evident in the sheer growth of the school – “enrollment has more than doubled, we constructed a new building for primary classes, and new inquiries come to me each week. I am currently looking for new teachers to help meet the demand.” As a resident of the area, Ashley will now serve as GETheatre’s Director of East African Operations.


Lianne Bettis:

Lianne Bettis is an experienced international teacher from England. She holds a Masters Degree in Children, Youth, and International Development from Brunel University. She did her post-graduate research in Zimbabwe where she explored students’ perspectives on their access to information. Lianne has been teaching internationally for 10 years in countries including China, Thailand, Belize, and Kenya. She is currently working with GET core member Ashley Olson at Kiwengwa Nursery & Primary School in Zanzibar as a lead primary teacher. Lianne is thrilled to be working with GETheatre this year!

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