Author and director Françoise Dô will use this research residency to develop a two-woman play, July 1961, based on social and ethnic tensions and inspired by the 1960s civil rights movement in American cities. This theater residency includes two musicians, Roberto Negro and Sylvain Darrifourcq, who will create the musical environment of the play. Partnerships have been initiated with Chicago-based institutions such as the France-Chicago Center at The University of Chicago and the Court Theater. The theater production is also supported by a network of French regional theaters, including Comédie de St. Etienne.
First-time French writer presented in the U.S., Violaine Schwartz will work together with French American Theater Director Marion Schoevaert (In Parentheses, Inc.) in New York City, to develop a theatrical adaptation of her work PAPERS (published by P.O.L in France, and soon by Fern Publication with a translation by Christine Gutman.)
Conceived as a public street theater protest with portrait of refugees projected on buildings, polyphonic stories of refugees, immigration workers, and volunteers will be heard with the participation of New York-based artists from Africa and the Middle East such as Dancer Hussein Smko (Iraq), actress Okwui Okpokwasili (U.S.-Nigeria), musician Layale Chaker (French Lebanese.)
PS21 will support Circus Amoukanama‘s first-ever engagement in the United States with the performance of FA by spearheading a tour with a network of presenters to offer the company significant visibility. Amoukanama (in the Susu language: “What does not break always persists”) is a young and dynamic circus company founded by Nathalie Vandenabeele (equestrian) and Alseny Sacko (acrobat) whose members grew up in Conakry, Guinea, originally choosing the circus as a means of survival. They collaborated with the multidisciplinary artist and director Anthony Weiss for the production of FA.
Free workshops and performances by the Amoukanama circus will be organized for Chatham/Hudson public schools and young audiences during this 10-day residency.
September 2021 (postponed to September 2022)
The Seuls en Scène festival at Princeton University will present Traces by author-scholar Felwine Sarr (Senegal) with actor Etienne Minoungou (Burkina Faso) and Moi, Fardeau Inherent by Guy Regis Jr. (Haiti), performed by Daniely Francisque (Martinique).
Written by author and scholar Felwine Sarr and performed solo by Burkinabe actor Étienne Minoungou, Traces, speech to African Nations is a lyrical text that looks at the history of the African continent and points purposefully toward its future. Felwine Sarr is also renowned for his research report on the possibilities of restituting objects of African cultural heritage from collections in France to their countries of origin. He wrote this text as a vast odyssey, a metaphorical journey towards a luminous engagement: his continent looking at itself and at the world, in service of the future of its youth.
Written by Haitian playwright Guy Regis Jr, Moi, Fardeau Inhérent denounces sexual violence and harassment towards women. Daniely Francisque, herself a playwright and director, will perform the work.
As part of the U.S. premiere tour of the interactive, collective show It’s not here, it’s over here (C’est pas là, c’est par là), by French company Galmae, the work will be presented in a free outdoor show in a large public space in the heart of downtown Rochester. “It’s not here, it’s over here” was created under the artistic direction of Juhyung Lee, inspired by his own feelings during a rally in Seoul.
The HOME Experiment (Phase 2) is a theater collaboration between Portland-based company, Hand2Mouth with France’s acclaimed, Begat Theater. After the writing development in 2020 (phase I), the site-specific public presentation, an outdoor walking performance, will take place in Portland, Oregon, during summer 2022.
The HOME Experiment crafts a fictional dystopia out of an urban lived-in landscape following a catastrophe. It explores new ways of survival and resilience that performers lead the audience to discover. The production involves groups of young adults hired in collaboration with the homeless service provider, Outside In as well as public advocates, and service workers.
Quake is a procession performance based on When the Whole World Quakes by Haitian playwright Guy Regis Jr. The theatrical work is a liturgy for loss and the failings of the state to function in times of crisis. In the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Quake uses a poetic and allegorical script providing a lens through which to consider our current global crisis and its ongoing death toll. Quake will be performed in four specific contexts: the Quatre Chemin Festival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; the Abrons Arts Center in New York City; The Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; and a location (to be determined) in France.
In Haiti, Kaneza Schaal and Guy Regis Jr. will work with a collective of musicians in Jacmel, and a group of formerly incarcerated women performers in Port-au-Prince providing a unique opportunity to premiere a project anchored by the culture, questions, needs, and technology of its own local context.
In 2022, St. Ann’s Warehouse will present the American Premiere of Edouard Louis’s personal memoir Who Killed My Father, a solo performance by Louis in French, with English surtitles, directed by Schaubühne Berlin’s Thomas Ostermeier.
Who Killed My Father confronts the poverty and classism that contributed to Louis’s father’s premature death. Juxtaposing his working-class upbringing with his now privileged life, Louis presents a searing social critique about the brutality waged against workers and a declaration of love to a person who won’t accept it.
BOUCAN is a comedic re-imagining of Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot in Cirk biZ’arT’s signature, highly physical, contemporary circus style. Without any dialogue, “BOUCAN” features four circus artists who attempt to reconstruct the series of events that unfolded the night before while they clean up after a wild party. Live musical accompaniment is provided by a beat-boxer.
Théâtre de l’Entrouvert will present Anywhere as part of its Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE’s flexible 99-150-seat Mainstage space in lower Manhattan, in May 2022. Conceived and directed by Elise Vigneron and Helene Barreau, and freely inspired by the novel Oedipus on the Road by Henry Bauchau, Anywhere evokes the long wandering of Oedipus accompanied by his daughter Antigone. The fallen Oedipus appears in the form of an ice puppet that gradually turns into water then into mist and disappears in the Erynian Forest, the place of clairvoyance.
Spoleto Festival USA plans to present six performances of Moby Dick, a new creation by French-Norwegian puppeteer Yngvild Aspeli. The work is based on the Herman Melville novel and uses live actors, puppets, lighting and music to create a world of beauty that is as haunting as the novel itself. Moby Dick will be presented as part of Spoleto USA festival 2022, the first full festival in three years after the Covid-19 cancellation of the 2020 festival and the much-diminished festival in 2021.
PS21 will present Farm Fatale by director and stage designer Philippe Quesne, end of May 2022 as the centerpiece of PS21/Chatham Pathways: Blazing a Trail for a Sustainable Future, a multi-disciplinary public performance initiative originally launched in 2019 and scheduled to take place over 3 months in 2022.
Farm Fatale will introduce audiences and participants to new European theatre in a rural, pristine environment – both the work and the environment are of specific and poignant relevance to the most pressing issues of today’s world.
The presentation of Farm Fatale is part of a North American Tour in construction.
Sinking Ship, a company by performer Jonathan Levin, playwright Josh Luxemberg, and director Joshua William Gelb, has been invited to bring the award-winning work A Hunger Artist to the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionettes in Charleville-Mézières, France in Fall 2021. For Sinking Ship’s first presentation in France, the play will be translated into French.
A man sits alone in a cage, starving himself for your entertainment. This darkly comedic, visually striking adaptation of the Franz Kafka short story uses physical theater, Victorian miniatures, puppetry and a set of simple props to support a powerhouse solo performance.
Nicole Birmann Bloom
Program Officer, Performing Arts