Johan Esterhuizen studied drama in South Africa before spending time in the United Kingdom. After returning to Cape Town he was involved in experimental and political theatre at a time of huge upheaval and change. A longstanding commitment to applied theatre took him to the townships and schools of South Africa, working with a wide variety of communities. Later in his career he turned to lecturing at Stellenbosch University, while continuing to develop his career as an actor and director. In this conversation we discuss how our careers have changed directions and how early experiences have shaped our later professional direction.