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Caribbean Theater Action: Dec 2-3 at CUNY-Martin E. Segal Theater Center

Caribbean Theater Action, or Actions Caribéennes Théâtrales (ACT) provides a cultural dialogue between the United States and the Francophone Caribbean. Through six contemporary plays by emerging or established Caribbean writers from Haiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe, ACT aims to raise awareness and recognition of Francophone Caribbean Theatre using English language translations, publications, and stage readings.

By exploring passion, desire, and the collective experience of trauma and loss after natural disaster; by denouncing social, racial, and gender violence; and by staging real drama life and leading crime investigation, Caribbean dramatists tells us the stories and history of Caribbean people. Engaged in a creative and innovative mixing of languages (French and Creole), they put forward a politically engaged theatre while renewing drama aesthetics.

The six selected plays below will be presented in New York at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center, translated into English on December 2nd and 3rd, 2019, from 2 pm onwards. An anthology published by the Segal Center will be printed during Spring 2020. 

The ACT / Actions Caribéennes Théâtrales project is initiated and coordinated by Stéphanie Bérard, specialist in Caribbean Theater, author of Théâtres des Antilles, in collaboration with Frank Hentschker from the Martin E. Segal Center at CUNY-The Graduate Center, Nicole Birmann Bloom from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, with Compagnie Siyaj from Guadeloupe, and with the participation of the choreographer-cultural producer Candace Thompson-Zachery as external artistic adviser.   Read Stéphanie Bérard's mission statement here.


Monday, December 2
Segal Theatre

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

Each staged reading will be introduced by Candace Thompson-Zachery and followed by a Q&A

2:00pm - Roundtable: Women and/in Caribbean Theatre

With Romola Lucas, Amina Henry, Magaly Colimon-Christopher, and Daniely Francisque. Moderated by Candace Thompson-Zachery

4:00pm - Street Sad / Trottoir Chagrin

Written by Luc Saint-Eloy (Guadeloupe)
Translated by Josh Cohen
Directed by Paul Pryce
Moderated by Steve Puig
A prostitute is walking the streets of Paris. She does not care about anything nor anyone. One evening, she returns to the place where her brother Jeannot was murdered just a year before. There she meets a mysterious man with whom she starts a conversation and enters into a dangerous flirtation. 

6:00pm - The Day My Father Killed Me / Le jour où mon père m’a tué 
Written by Magali Solignat & Charlotte Boimare (Guadeloupe)
Translated by Amelia Parenteau
Directed by Florent Masse
Moderated by Amelia Parenteau
Based on a true story of a singer who murdered his son in Guadeloupe. Devised as a documentary theatre work, the play offers a diverse narrative account of the crime and the violence in contemporary Caribbean society.

8:00pm Adoration / L’Adoration
Written by Jean-René Lemoine (Haiti/France)
Translated by Amanda Gann
Directed by Sylvaine Guyot
Moderated by Amin Erfani
In a nightclub on a terrace overlooking the sea, a woman, Chine, and a man, Rodez, reflect on their relationship. Memories of desire, obsession, love, and hate mix with the sounds of the waves they hear from far away. Slowly, Chine unveils the inner workings of a dangerous passion in which she lost herself.

Tuesday, December 3
Segal Theatre

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

2:00pm - Roundtable: Caribbean Theatre on the International Stage

With Luc Saint-Eloy, Charlotte Boimare, Magali Solignat, and Oceana James. Moderated by Stéphanie Bérard

4:00pm - Family / Une vie familiale
Written by Gaël Octavia  (Martinique)
Translated by Katharine Woff
Directed by Lucie Tiberghien
Moderated by B. Nandi Jacob
A father hides his homosexuality from his family and tries to escape a stifling and suffocating family. The alcoholic stay-at-home mother is jealous of the relationships her husband has with her children. In this average dysfunctional family, everyone struggles to play the social games they are expected to play. The lies, secrets, and silences ultimately blow up the constraining social conventions they lived with before.

6:00pm - And the Whole World Quakes: The Great Collapse / De toute la terre le grand effarement
Written by Guy Régis Junior (Haiti)
Translated by Judith Miller
Directed by Kaneza Schaal
Moderated by Christian Flaugh
Two women, survivors of a catastrophe, stand on a hill overlooking a destroyed city. The Youngest and the Oldest look upon the desolated landscape and hear the lamentations, prayers, and songs of the survivors.

8:00pm She-Devil / Ladjables
Written by Daniely Francisque (Martinique)
Translated by Danielle Carlotti-Smith
Directed by Oceana James
Moderated by Andrew Clarke
During a night of the Carnival Martinique, a female masked dancer meets an arrogant man who tries to seduce her. Drunk with desire, the heartless man does not realize that the predator is slowly becoming the prey of the bewitching dancer.

ACT has received funding by FACE Contemporary Theater

The translation of Adoration by Jean-René Lemoine and And the Whole World Quakes (The Great Collapse) by Guy Régis Junior are supported by the CONTXTO network (ARTCENA, Paris).

Photo credits:

Jean-René Lemoine: © Marco Samson
Charlotte Boimare: © Céline Nieszawer, 2018
Guy Régis Junior: © Valérie Beriswyl
Magali Solignat: © Fanny Cambacas, 2017
Daniely Francisque: © Valérie Schaepelynck, 2015
Gaël Octavia: © Francesca Mantovani / Gallimard
Luc Saint-Eloy: Photo Courtesy of the artist