Stuart Palmer

Chairperson, Company Director, Actor, facilitator, scriptwriter and director

Stuart Palmer launched Lunchbox Theatre in the Garden Route in 2008. He has created 9 shows and he has travelled with his team all over the South Western and Eastern Cape and KZN.

He is a dynamic team leader who has inspired virtually the same team to go the distance with him for nearly 10 years. By 2018 they have staged over 600 shows and educated nearly 130 000 young South Africans. He gives credit to Vincent Meyburgh who was his partner at Jungle Theatre in Cape Town for introducing him to the power of live educational theatre.

It was with his blessing that the concept has been extended beyond the borders of the Western Cape. It is fitting that the Mother City gave birth to storytelling at its best which is making a big, positive difference to South Africa. Stuart is forever grateful to the wonderful supporters that have followed this success story over the years.

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Mncedisi Ncedani

Actor, Facilitator, Project Manager and Dreamer

Has been Stuart Palmer’s right-hand man from the outset. And what an asset he is. You can actually feel the energy between them when they act. They are in perfect yin yang balance. Both bring a wealth of knowledge from diverse experiences to the skills base. And they impart them freely in their quest to uplift others.

Mnce also brings great imagination with his experience of creating shows for the iKwezi Festival at the Baxter Theatre and the Grahamstown National Arts Theatre. His greatest love is teaching the youngsters drama through Lunchbox’s After School Activity Program. As an inspiring leader, he has led his group to the finals of the Eden Drama Festival.

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Amanda Valela

Actor, Dancer and Facilitator

First and foremost, Amanda is a dancer with a natural flair for choreography. This is of great benefit to the children she teaches through Lunchbox Theatre’s After Schools Activities Program. She has enjoyed great success since joining Lunchbox Theatre as an original member in 2008.

She was chosen to represent young, South African black, female Directors in the “Ideas to Action Program” followed by the” Inspiring a Generation Program” and attended the BIBUSE Festival in Sweden. Next was the HIFA Festival in Zimbabwe where she co-directed iLifa, The Inheritance. She was invited to Linz, Austria, to attend the SHARXPIR Festival as part of ‘The Next Generation Program’.

She won second place in the Nederberg Competition in Knysna as a Dancer with the Masimanyane Theatre Group and won the Cape Town Dance Competition. She has performed in The National Dance Festival (Upington), The Ikhwezi Festival (Baxter Theatre), The KKNK Festival (Oudtshoorn) and the National Arts Festival (Grahamstown).

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Nkho Xipula

Nko is a greatly admired and talented actor who performs in many of the Lunchbox Theatre Shows with great passion. He delights in dancing and passing on his skills to youngsters through the After Schools Activities Program.

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Siyabulela Zabo


Another stalwart member of the troupe, Siya also joined and has stayed with Lunchbox Theatre since 2008. Amongst his many talents is stage management and organising talent competitions. Experience his brand of brilliance in A Dog’s Life, The Tree Show and Thand’ Impilo.

Gailene Isaks

Gailene joined the team through the Actor Training Programme funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund .She is hilarious and a great asset to the team.

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Nomzamo Maga

Actor, facilitator

Zaza has also added value to Lunchbox Theatre since inception in 2008. She is great at facilitating and uplifts many children through the dance lessons she conducts for the After Schools Activities Program. She has performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

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Shanette Elliot

Marketing Manager

Shanette Elliot, the Marketing Manager for Lunchbox Theatre, believes that she has the best job ever. Starting out as a primary school teacher Shanette spent most of her life communicating in the fields of advertising, public relations, incentive motivation and local governance. Since joining Lunchbox Theatre in 2013, Shanette has been able to combine all her experience and skills in a creative way to the benefit of the larger community.

In her words: “I love the fact that our shows make such a huge impact on our up and coming youth. Nothing communicates quite like live theatre and change comes easily as our future generation embrace the powerful messages brought to them by our wonderfully effective actors!” says Shanette.

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