ESTHER VON WALTSLEBEN is an award-winning actress, director and playwright. As a Performing Arts practitioner she has been in the professional entertainment industry for more than 20 years with a long list of awards and nominations including Fleur du Cap, Fiesta Awards and SAFTA Awards for productions that she has been involved in.
Esther studied Drama at the University of Stellenbosch and went on to start her own theatre company, Spektrum Productions, with fellow graduates, which travelled the country taking children’s theatre productions to schools and theatres nationally and internationally. She’s worked extensively applying theatre as an educational tool for communities, corporations as well as the government. The educational theatre productions that she’s been part of, was presented in Afrikaans, English and Xhosa (in which she is fluent). As part of renowned Community Theatre group, Cape Heart, she studied the work of Forum Theatre practitioner, Augusto Boal, applying Theatre of the Oppressed to educate and give guidance to communities on social issues like abuse, addiction as well as health and safety.
She is founder-member of the Klein Libertas Theatre in Stellenbosch as well as the NGO, New Love, which combines performance art and fine arts to tackle social issues within communities. She qualified as an assessor in the Performing Arts from SAQA and was central to the formulation of the course and the subsequent outcomes.
She has served as Artist in Residence at Drama Schools in the Western Cape for five years as well as external examiner for Matric Practical Drama exams. Her connections with the schools also extend to her directing and writing of the theatre productions of Paul Roos Gimnasium for the ATKV competions, on a yearly basis, earning them a list of awards and nominations on that playing field.
She is a familiar face on South African television, featuring in popular shows like Die Republiek van Zoid-Afrika (both as actor and content-producer), Parys-Parys, Buurtwag, Die Boekklub, Proesstraat, Boland Moorde, Die Francois Toerien Show and films like ‘n Paw-Paw vir my Darling, Liewe Kersvader, Agterplaas, Sonskyn Beperk, Journey Man and Solo Flight. On stage she has worked with many of South-Africa’s best directors in all the different genres. She is currently seen in her own oneman-show, #OMGV, in which she collaborates with the talent of comedy doyenne, Marion Holm.