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Contemporary Haitian Playwrights: an Evening of Solidarity and Support

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Mar 31, 2010
Mar 31, 2010
Segal Theater

In the aftermath of the recent earthquake, theatre artists and humanities scholars gather at the Segal Center to discuss, showcase and experience contemporary Haitian theatre, while summoning solidarity and support for contemporary Haitian playwrights. Featuring Haitian plays in translation and appearances by Haitian playwrights of multiple generations, including Coutechève Aupont, Dominique Batraville, Duckens Charitable, Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, and Guy Régis Junior.

Emceed by Jean-Dany Joachim. Translations by Philippa Wehle, Judith Miller, Peter Consenstein and Jean-Dany Joachim.

Donations are sought for a silent art auction to be held at the event, as well as for a collection of theatre equipment/supplies to help rebuild Haitian theatres.

Co-presented with the Henri Peyre French Institute (Professor Francesca Sautman, Director) and the Ph.D. Program in French (Professor Thomas C. Spear) of The Graduate Center, CUNY, with the assistance of Chadia Chambers-Samadi, Phyllis Roome, José Pliya, ETC Caraïbe (Danielle Vendé), and La Comédie Francaise New York.

Coutechéve Lavoie Aupont Photo courtesy of the Artist

Coutechéve Lavoie Aupont
Photo courtesy of the Artist

Coutechève Lavoie Aupont was born in Mirebalais, Haiti in 1982. Poet, storyteller, actor and author of Partances (2009), Lavoie has been called the “Stubborn Ink Poet.” He resides in Port-au-Prince.


Dominique Batraville
Photo courtesy of J-F Chalut

Dominique Batraville, a poet, journalist, art critic, and actor, is a revered figure in his native Haiti, where he was born in 1962. Educated in Belgium and France, he returned to Haiti after the overthrow of Jean-Claude Duvalier in the mid-1980s. He served as literary critic and subsequently sports chronicler for the Haitian publication Le Nouvelliste. Since 2003 he has collaborated on the weekly Haïti en Marche, and since 2004 on the magazine Vues d’Haïti. Since 2003, Mr. Batraville has run a radio program, the cultural chronicle À Haute voix, on the station Mélodie FM (transmitted by Radio Soleil d’Haïti). His varied works of poetry have been translated into multiple languages. As an actor, Mr. Batraville has appeared in a dozen European films; he played the lead role in Michelange Quay’s short feature, L’évangile du cochon créole (2004); and he played the principal role in Charles Najman’s feature film Royal Bonbon (2002).

Duckens Charitable (Duccha) Photo courtesy of Antoine Tempè

Duckens Charitable (Duccha)
Photo courtesy of Antoine Tempè

Duckens Charitable (Duccha) was born in Carrefour, Haiti in 1982. He studied economics, sociology and applied linguistics. Primarily a poet, Duccha’s poetry has been adapted for the theatre by the LE VIDE Theatre Workshop. His poetry has been published in numerous Haitian and French journals and anthologies as well as an Italian anthology. Duccha is also an occasional actor.

Michèle Voltaire Marcelin Photo courtesy of the Artist

Michèle Voltaire Marcelin
Photo courtesy of the Artist

Michèle Voltaire Marcelin was born in Port-au-Prince in 1955. She is a poet, a performer and a visual artist who has lived in Haiti, Chile and the United States. Her first novel, La Désenchantée, was published by Cidihca in 2006. She has since then published its Spanish translation, La Desencantada, and 2 more books of poems and prose: Lost and Found, and Amours et Bagatelles. She has performed her poetry in clubs and universities solo and with jazz bands and exhibited her paintings in museums and galleries in the United States and Haiti.  She writes in 3 languages and currently lives and teaches in New York.

Guy Junior Régis Photo courtesy Patrick Fabre

Guy Junior Régis
Photo courtesy Patrick Fabre

Guy Junior Régis, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1974, is a playwright, translator, stage and film director and the founder of contemporary Haitian theatre troupe Nous Théâtre. His plays include Le Père (2009), La Mort de soi dans sa longue robe de mariée (2009), La Sable et la Mer (2005) and Bethsabée (2008), among many others. His texts have been staged in theatres, at universities, on the streets, in public squares and other places. His work has been seen in Venezuela, in the U.S., and in Europe at the Centre Georges Pompidou and La Villette in Paris, at the National Theatre of Belgium, and in international festivals at Liège and Limoges. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. Mr. Régis’ short films include Black Out (2001) and Pays sauve qui peut (2001).

Jean-Dany Joachim Photo courtesy of the Artist

Jean-Dany Joachim
Photo courtesy of the Artist

Jean-Dany Joachim grew up among poets in his native Port-au-Prince, Haiti and wrote his first poem at age 14. His writing found its voice in the never-ending, complex reality of his country. After moving to U.S.A nearly two decades ago, he left his work in the theatre and began writing in English, while at the same time exploring poetry in other languages. Jean-Dany has translated poetry from and into Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, and English. As the creator and producer of the City Night Reading Series, he brings together poets, writers, performers and lovers of literature for the celebration of the art of word in the Boston and NYC areas. Jean-Dany currently resides in Cambridge, Massachussetts, where he is serving as the city’s elected “Poet Populist” for 2009-2011. He is the author of “Chen Plenn – Leta”, and his work has appeared in anthologies and numerous literary magazines.

Philippa Wehle is Professor Emerita of French Language and Culture and Drama Studies at Purchase College, State University of New York. She writes widely on contemporary theatre and performance and is the author of Le Théâtre populaire selon Jean Vilar, Drama Contemporary: France and Act French: Contemporary Plays from France. She has translated numerous contemporary French language plays and is a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Judith Miller is Collegiate Professor in The Department of French of NYU.  She writes widely on French and Francophone theatre texts and productions, including a book-length study of French director Ariane Mnouchkine (Routledge, 2007) and an essay on and translated excerpts of the theatre of Hélène Cixous in The Portable Cixous, Ed. M. Segarra  (Columbia, 2010.  She has translated some twenty plays from the French, most recently works by Olivier Kemeid, José Pliya, Werewere Liking, and Ina Césaire.  She is currently preparing two anthologies of Francophone plays from Africa for Indiana University Press.

Peter Consenstein has been writing on contemporary French poetry, experimental literature, prosody, and the group Oulipo since the mid-1980’s and is now translating. He just published Dominique Fourcade’s IL, entitled _IT_ (Iowa, Paris: La Presse, 2009). He was named Executive Officer of the Ph.D. Program in French in 2009.


6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Martin E. Segal Theatre. Free!