Jemma Kahn

The only thing Jemma Kahn can’t do is use Photoshop. Apart from that, the 30-year-old performer, set designer, illustrator, director and “general dog’s body” can pretty much do everything required to create a story that inspires and entertains. Born in Johannesburg, Kahn holds two BA degrees — in Fine Art and Drama — which helped to kick-start her career in theatre. It was while teaching in English in Japan that Kahn discovered Kamishibai — a centuries-old form of street theatre in which stories are told by a performer using a series of illustrations. Inspired, she roped in writer Gwydion Beynon and director John Trengove to bring The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults to the stage. With themes ranging from pornography to the dream life of cats, the show moved audiences at home and abroad, picking up the Critics’ Choice Award at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival and a glowing review on Twitter from singer Annie Lennox. — Bongani Kona