2016 Grantees | French-American Fund for Contemporary Theater

April 4, 2016 | By French Culture Arts
Cie XY, Il n'est pas encore minuit... © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in partnership with FACE Foundation is pleased to announce the 2016 Grantees of the Contemporary Theater Fund.

This year, $125,000 in grants was allocated to 10 institutions for French projects in the U.S. Each project reflects the vibrant state of artistic creation from devised to hybrid forms.

Highlights of the 2016 selection include Philippe Quesne-Vivarium and  Company XY, and the U. S. debut of several artists: Yoan  Bourgeois, the group Stereoptik (Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet), and Mohamed El Khatib.


New42nd Street Studio | New York, NY

Cité by Le Clan des Songes - Marina Montefusco (Puppetry)
May 11 - 22, 2016

The New42nd Street Studio/The New Victory Theater will present 20 performances of the children’s production Cité by the French puppetry company, Le Clan des Songes, in May 2016. Previously invited by The New Victory in 2013 to present their work Fragile, the company created Cité as a direct result of their stay in New York, a vibrant, poetic performance for the very young. To a soundtrack of whimsical original music, a small man chases the sun as it darts between the tops of towers, and a city comes alive in fun and surprising ways. Inspired by the contemporary art of New York-based painter Evsa Model, this wordless work is an enthralling exploration of shape, color and shadow puppetry.

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) | New York, NY

Minuit by Yoann Bourgeois
October 5 - 8, 2016

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), as part of the 2016 Next Wave Festival, will present the U.S. debut of the acrobat Yoann Bourgeois with his circus-inspired theater piece, Minuit, in October 2016.
Minuit is composed of several short pieces: Fugue/Trampoline, Fugue/Table, La Balance de Lévité (Levitating Scales), and Mobile, punctuated by Les Paroles Impossibles (Impossible Speech) set to original music played live by Laure Brisa. Dance, juggling, acrobatics, and live music converge to explore the concept of what it all means through a variety of theatrical elements and games. Minuit is being presented as part of BAM’s Brooklyn-Paris Artist Exchange with Théâtre de la Ville, Paris.

Princeton University | Princeton, NY

French Theater Festival Seuls en scène
With Roland Auzet, Mohammed El Khatib, Anne Alvaro, Audrey Bonnet, Noé Soulier, David Lescot, Kevin Keiss, Caroline Guiela Nguyen, et le Jeune Théâtre National
September 24 - October 9, 2016

The fifth edition of the Princeton French Theater Festival Seuls en scène will present a number of diverse productions with emerging directors such as Caroline Guiela Nguyen. Author and director Mohammed El Khatib will present mourir en beauté, a hit of the 2015 Avignon Festival Off. Roland Auzet, in collaboration with La muse en circuit will bring to the Princeton campus Bernard-Marie Koltès’s Solitude dans les champs de coton, with actresses Audrey Bonnet and Anne Alvaro; in this original production, each member of the audience will discover the text through headphones. Author-director David Lescot will show his moving production of Ceux qui restent.

CalArts Center for New Performance | Valencia, CA

The Gap (a French-American theatre project)
Arnaud Meunier, Director, Comédie de St. Etienne
Alexandra Badea, Playwright; Aleshea Harris, Playwright; Charlotte Lagrange; Dramaturg.
October 2016 - April 2017

CalArts, Valencia, CA, in collaboration with Comédie de St-Etienne, under the leadership of the director Arnaud Meunier, will develop the French-American theater project The Gap in collaboration with professionals actors from the two institutions, and with the participation of French-Romanian author Alexandra Badea, the American playwright Aleshea Harris, and the dramatist Charlotte Le Grange in fall 2016 and spring 2017.

U.S. Tour of La mélancolie des dragons by Vivarium Studio – Philippe Quesne

The Kitchen, New York, in collaboration with Under The Radar Festival, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, will join efforts to present the acclaimed production of La mélancolie des Dragons by Philippe Quesne in January 2017.
With an ingenious hand for reinventing the conventions of theater, Philippe Quesne smartly constructs La mélancolie des dragons into a work that celebrates the absurd and explores the profound joy of friendship. Although the production has previously toured internationally and the along the west coast of the United States, it will be the first time that Quesne’s large production comes to New York, Columbus and Minneapolis.

The Kitchen (DBA Haleakala) | New York, NY
January 10 - 14, 2017

The Walker Art Center | Minneapolis, MN
January 26 - 28, 2017

Wexner Center for the Arts - The Ohio State University | Columbus, OH
January 19 - 22, 2017

U.S. Tour of Dark Circus by Stereoptik (Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet)

Two organizations, San Francisco International Festival for the Arts and HERE Art Center in New York, will present the U.S. debut of Company Stereoptik in performances of their latest production, Dark Circus, in May 2017. Here Art Center will be hosting the company as part of its series, Dream Music Puppetry. Dark Circus is a collaboration between Pef, renowned French author and illustrator of numerous children’s books, and Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet, both composers and visual artists with Company Stereoptik.  In this sad circus, catastrophes pile up one after another. The aerialist crashes to the ground, the animal trainer is devoured by his lion, the human cannonball never returns from outer space. Luckily there’s a clumsy juggler to breathe a little color into the proceedings. If the circus is dark, the tone is light. Music and images accompany the action and the story is laced with poetic moments and a healthy dose of irony. A hit of 2015 Avignon Festival In.

HERE Art Center - Dream Music Program | New York, NY
May 15 - 21, 2017

San Francisco International Festival of the Arts | San Francisco, CA
May 25 - June 11, 2017

Spoleto USA Festival | Charleston, SC

Il n'est pas encore minuit by Compagnie XY      
June 4 - 11, 2017

The Spoleto USA Festival will present the mesmerizing production Il n’est pas encore Minuit by the new circus group Company XY, renowned for their fierce and daredevil flying acrobats, as well as their ensemble work based on friendship and trust.
These performances are part of a large tour in North America that will include several cities in the United States and Canada.


The Fund is an initiative of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the Institut français-Paris, in partnership with FACE Foundation. For 2016, the Fund received additional funding from the Florence Gould Foundation and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
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