creative director

Emblazoned across her desktop background and cited in countless conversations about why art matters, these words have always been a lodestar in her drama classroom. A guiding light that has profoundly influenced the way that Lauren Noble teaches others about the arts. Her passion for theatre has been a part of her life since she was 12 years old and performed in her first lead role as Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Lauren’s devotion to this multifaceted, multidimensional industry has been strengthened through her experiences in the classroom but it was also within her role as the Head of Performing Arts in Durban and Dubai that she began to realise that she also had a duty... one that sometimes goes unnoticed in the relentless drive towards bureaucratic academic achievement. A duty to shape an educational environment that understands the performing arts as a working system of independent yet interconnected parts. It was this feeling of responsibility that took hold and the plans for her very own theatre company began forming in her mind. “And now, here I am, almost a decade later, inviting you to join me on this journey... whether you're a student or a teacher, an amateur or a professional, a practitioner or an audience member... there's a place for everyone to redefine the performing arts on a global stage."

"Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music or a book can make a difference. It can change the world." Alan Rickman

 
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Akansha Goenka always knew she was a storyteller at heart. Armed with her vivid imagination and her love of intricate narratives, it was only fitting that she would one day discover her passion for educating young minds through the inclusive world of the theatre. Taking up the mantle of performer, backstage crew, stage manager, scriptwriter and director over 14 years ago, Akansha now views the arts as one of the major driving forces in the story of her life. Her medium of choice is immersive storytelling, a branch of literary performativity which supports the audience in becoming swathed in the narrative experience. “Storytelling is the soul of all the performing arts – be it theatre, movies, dance, or music. As a teacher I realized that storytelling was a very powerful tool for all children, irrespective of their age, to learn and understand theatre in the most beautiful and productive way.” As our Head of Education, Akansha believes that co|laboratory provides a unique holistic learning experience which is unlike any other in the UAE. She has absolute faith in the vision of the company as it moves towards further success in the performing arts both locally and internationally. “It really is an organization with heart!”

head of education

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” Robert McKee

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business director

When Ajay Sajnani discovered co|laboratory he realised that he had found the perfect combination of performing arts and education, two areas that he had found fascinating for many years. An investment in theatre education made sense to a businessman of his calibre, acknowledging that the 21st century is characterised by a mindful engagement with the development of unique skills that the performing arts provides. As a father himself, Ajay has seen the positive effects of the performing arts on his own children where they have learned to express themselves in a creative way, increasing their confidence and teaching them to appreciate different cultures. “Theatre is an important part of parenting, seeing your own children alongside so many other nationalities performing on a stage together.” Ajay’s passion for the strategic side of business development means that he thoroughly enjoys supporting a company as it evolves from a start-up into a reputable business. He is most excited to work with the diverse skills that exist within co|laboratory, recognizing that all partners come from different backgrounds in terms of experience and qualifications. “The ideas that will emerge within our decision-making processes will be uniquely situated alongside others who exist within the same industry.”

“Arts education isn't something we add on after we've achieved other priorities. It's actually critical for achieving those priorities in the first place.” Michelle Obama

 
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