Currently recurring on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
A South African born and bred actress, writer and voice over artist, Phumzile Sitole holds an undergraduate degree in Theatre and Performance from the University of Cape Town and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Columbia University in the City of New York. She has worked on stages such as the renowned Market Theatre in Johannesburg South Africa as well as on the Main Stage Arena at the internationally acclaimed National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, SA. This play went on to be pubished and features Phumzile in the book as one of the original debut cast members of the play entitled Little Foot written by the respected South African playwright Craig Higginson. Beginning her work in the US, was her involvement in the humanitarian meets artistic excellence production of Antigone directed by Tony Award Winning director Gregory Mosher where she played the lead role of Antigone in New York, Kenya and South Africa.
Her NYC Regional theatre debut, was in Stephen Brown-Fried’s production MACBETH at the Northern Stage in the role of Lady Macduff. This was the opening show for the 2016-1017 season of the Actors Equity Associated theatre in Vermont. She has shared a stage with several established actors. After Antigone, Phumzile shared a panel with theatre and film veteran Wendell Pierce, in a scene they performed together from the play and a conversation led by the Aspen Institute Arts Program at the Studio Museum in Harlem NY. Phumzile has been an invited speaker at the Aspen Festival in Colorado. She has also read alongside the likes of Chukwudi Iwuji, Phylicia Rashad, John Douglas Thompson and Jay OSanders in a various panels and workshops with the Public Shakespeare Initiave and Aspen Arts. Phumzile also featured in a reading of the Amen Corner directed by Broadway Director and Tony Award Nominee Liesl Tommy at the Classical Stage Company where she played one of the lead roles Sister Moore in James Baldwins telling classic. She has served as a Shakespeare Society Ambassador, before it joined with Public Shakes Initiative , a group of 18 individuals selected from hundreds of applicants to serve the society and be mentored by the exclusive talent that works within them year to year.
Phumzile has featured in festival selection films, including as a lead in the South African film, Rights of Passage which was selected as part of the country’s most renowned film festival, the Durban International Film Festival. Most recently the New York shot film LOSTFOUND, where she plays the supporting lead, was selected for the San Fransisco Black Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Harlem International Film Festival and most prestigious of all the Sundance Film Festival 2017. Phumzile has had a recurring in the CBS All Access TV Show, The Good Fight , as well as on Netflix’s Orange is The New Black.
She has devised two pieces of theatre from scratch including SENT which was a two woman show that premiered in Johannesburg where her and performance artist Carla Fonseca created a site specific traveling piece about the forgotten yet tangibly beautiful art of letter writing. The show was subsequently performed in New York City a few months after its debut. Later on she, along with colleague Aaron Morton devised a ritualistic piece inspired called Nonqawuse that used physical gesture and a poetic text and soundscape to carve out the experience of what is seen and unseen in our lives on a daily basis. She also works as a creative part of The Lonely Painter Project, in which she has performed and helped devise the shows Inhume and The Last Leaf, and the Everyday Africa developmental workshop.
She has worked as a voice over artist for many years, from commercial television to radio ads with clients such as KFC, Nike, Dettol and most recently had her voice featured at the UN Summit Opening Ceremony in a short opener for the HumanStory.