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2018 FACE Contemporary Theater Grantees

Harlem Quartet by Elise Vigier © Tristan Jeanne-Vales

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, in partnership with FACE Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2018 grantees of FACE Contemporary Theater

This year, 13 institutions will receive grants for a total amount of $155,000. 

The program encourages projects that push aesthetic boundaries and reflect the cultural and artistic diversity seen in theater today. It has expanded beyond artists based in France and the United States to include projects by artists from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, as long as their work is co-produced by French cultural institutions. In this age of global mobility, the goal is to support artists with multifaceted backgrounds and influences, in order to promote a multiplicity of voices and foster a more varied intercultural dialogue.

Special attention is given to projects involving French directors and playwrights rarely presented in the US, such as Elise Vigier with Harlem Quartet, a collaboration with Kevin Keiss and slammer Saul Williams,  Fanny de Chaillé with Gonzo Conference, an homage to Rock music,  and David Geselson with Doreen inspired by Letter to D. by Andre Gorz, all three productions presented as part of Princeton French Theater Festival 2018; Blandine Savetier and Waddah Saab for their theatrical adaptation of Snow by Ohran Pamuk at CUNY-Martin E Segal Center, New York, this fall; Marion Schoevaert for her multidisciplinary theater project Iphigenia in Lesvos: Story of a Refugee in collaboration with American playwright Lisa Schlesinger and Syrian-U.S. based composer Kenan Azmeh at University of Iowa;  David Geselson and Mohamed El Khatib whose epistolary-themed work, Unwritten letters (Geselson) and Finir en beauté  (El Khatib) will be presented by FIAF Crossing the line festival this fall. 

With Caribbean Theatrical Actions (ACT) and Compagnie Sijag, six playwrights from the Caraibes (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti) will be presented at CUNY Martin E Segal Theater in May 2019. 

Contemporary circus, puppetry, and Street theater arts  are also encouraged with grants towards the U.S. tour of  Chambre Noire, a  complex and outrageous portrait of Valerie Jean Solanas (1936-1988), by the puppeter-director Ingvild Aspeli, Compagnie Plexus Polaire, at The Public Theater-Under the Radar Festival, New York, and Chicago International Puppetry Festival in January 2019,  and to the U.S. tour of the circus artist Raphaëlle Boitel with When Angels Fall at Montclair State U., NJ,  Art Emerson, Boston, MA, and Lafayette College, Easton, PA, in February 2019. In May 2019, the Toulouse-based puppetry company Clan des Songes led by Marina Montefusco will be returning to The New Victory Theater, New York,  with Bout à Bout for children aged 3+. You will be amazed by what can be done with a simple rope! 

In July 2019, in the streets of Portland, OR, the collective Begat Theater, invited by BOOM Arts will show Hidden Stories where audience members follow four discreet and interweaving narratives through public spaces. 

FACE Contemporary Theater also supports two artist's residencies: David Geselson at Harlem Stage, New York, for the development of an ensemble piece  with American Actors about the life of Nina Simone and Rwanda-born artist Dorothée Munyaneza who after a successful U.S. tour in 2017 will be in residence at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago in 2019.

In France, support goes to Theatre Garonne, Toulouse, in partnership with a network of French theaters, for the tour of Paradiso by Richard Maxwell and the developement of two new theater works until 2021,  and to The Camargo Foundation, Cassis, for the Cultural Diaspora project bringing four African-American-- France-Luce Benson, Kara Lee Corthron; Genevieve Jessee, and Kimberly C. Ellis -- and four African playwrights -- Zainabu Jallo, Blessing Hungwe, Osofinsan Femi, and Bode Asiyanbi -- together in residence this June.

Click here for more information about FACE Contemporary Theater.


FACE Contemporary Theater is a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with the support from the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture, and private donors.

Special support for women artists has been provided by Fondation CHANEL.

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