CATHERINE FILLOUX is an award-winning French American playwright who has been writing about human rights and social justice for over 30 years. Filloux has been honored with the 2019 Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship; the 2017 Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre; and the 2015 Planet Activist Award to acknowledge her dedication to art and activism, in the theater community. Catherine’s new play Under the Skin (now titled How to Eat an Orange) has been commissioned by INTAR in New York City (NYC). Her plays have been produced around the U.S. and internationally. They include: White Savior at Pygmalion Productions in Salt Lake City, UT; her livestream web drama turning your body into a compass at CultureHub, NYC; whatdoesfreemean? at Nora’s Playhouse, NYC; Kidnap Road, La MaMa, NYC; Selma ‘65, La MaMa and toured the country; Luz, La MaMa and Looking for Lilith in Louisville, KY.
Dog and Wolf (59E59 Theaters/Watson Arts, NYC; and “Dog and Wolf” Community Outreach Project, a new model conceived by the playwright to bring theater to neighborhoods where theatergoing isn't necessarily part of everyday culture.) Killing the Boss (Cherry Lane Theatre, NYC); Lemkin’s House (Rideau de Bruxelles, Belgium; McGinn-Cazale Theatre & 78th Street Theatre Lab, NYC; Kamerni teatar 55, Sarajevo, Bosnia); The Beauty Inside (New Georges, NYC and InterAct, Philadelphia; also translated into Arabic for a workshop at ISADAC in Rabat, Morocco, and produced in Northern Iraq, in the Kurdish language, by ArtRole.) Eyes of the Heart (National Asian American Theatre Co., NYC); Silence of God (Contemporary American Theater Festival [CATF], WV); Mary and Myra (CATF and Todd Mountain Theater, NY); Arthur’s War (commissioned by Theatreworks/USA, NYC); Photographs From S-21, a short play that has been produced throughout the world; Escuela del Mundo (commissioned by The Ohio State University and toured Ohio.)
Filloux is the librettist for four operas produced nationally and internationally including: New Arrivals (Houston Grand Opera, composer John Glover); Where Elephants Weep (Chenla Theatre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, composer Him Sophy); and The Floating Box (Asia Society, NYC, composer Jason Kao Hwang). Where Elephants Weep was also broadcast on national television in Cambodia; The Floating Box was a Critic’s Choice in Opera News and is released by New World Records. Catherine is the co-librettist with composer Olga Neuwirth for the opera Orlando based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, which premiered at the Vienna State Opera and is the winner of the Grawemeyer award. Filloux’s new musical Welcome to the Big Dipper (composer Jimmy Roberts, co-book writer John Daggett) was a National Alliance for Musical Theatre finalist and received a workshop at the Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, NY. Opera in development: Thresh’s L’Orient (composer Kamala Sankaram, choreographer Preeti Vasudevan); Mary Shelley (composer Gerald Cohen, dramaturg Cori Ellison, Black Tea Music.)
Catherine has traveled for her plays to Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Haiti, Morocco and in Iraq she collaborated in ArtRole’s Women in Action conferences; she went to Sudan and South Sudan on an overseas reading tour with the University of Iowa's International Writing Program; Filloux was invited to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the Henry Smith Artist in Residence Programme at the Woodvale Cambrai Community Centre, Holy Cross/Wheatfield Primary Schools, and The Playhouse Derry~Londonderry. She was the Playwright Facilitator for the International Playwright Retreat at La MaMa Umbria in Italy.
Filloux is featured in the documentary film “Acting Together on the World Stage" co-created by Dr. Cynthia E. Cohen and filmmaker Allison Lund, in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders. Filloux is the co-founder of Theatre Without Borders, and a Fulbright Senior Specialist. She was the first Art & Peacebuilding Scholar at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, CA. Catherine received the Ethelwyn Doolittle Justice and Outreach Committee grant; the Voice Award for Artistic Works (Voices of Women); New Generations-Future Collaborations Award (Mellon Foundation/Theatre Communications Group); PeaceWriting Award (Omni Center for Peace); Roger L. Stevens Award (Kennedy Center); Eric Kocher Playwrights Award (O'Neill); MAP Fund grants (for The Breach and The Floating Box); 5-time Heideman Award Finalist (Actors Theatre of Louisville); and the Callaway Award (New Dramatists.) She is the recipient of an Asian Cultural Council Artist’s Residency Grant and an LMCC Manhattan Community Arts Fund and Fund for Creative Communities awardee.
Catherine served as a Juror for Sarajevo’s MES International Theater Festival in Bosnia; and was both a James Thurber and William Inge Center for the Arts Playwright-In-Residence, in Columbus, OH, and Independence, KS. She is a New Dramatists alumna. Catherine is the President of the Board of CultureHub, a global art and technology community. She has served as a Screenwriting Consultant for RTA The Reimagining Myself Reentry Program, for incarcerated people (Completing four short films in Association with Human Pictures.) Filloux has been a Playwriting Consultant for Asian Cultural Council, NYC; a Script Writer for Rise Up: Tiananmen’s Legacy of Freedom and Democracy, Pen America, World Voices Festival, Presented with Humanitarian China and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC; a Dramaturg for the Developmental Workshop with Cambodian playwrights Morm Sokly and Chhon Sina, for their plays The Tooth of Buddha and Phka Champei, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Dramaturg for MCC Theater Youth Company FreshPlay Festival, NYC; a Mentor for New England Foundation for the Arts’ Fund for Cambodian Culture grant for Eyes of the Heart (NAATCO). She has been a Writing Mentor at Still Waters in a Storm, Brooklyn, NY.
Filloux developed the Oral History Project A Circle of Grace with the Cambodian Women's Group at St. Rita’s Refugee Center in Bronx, NY, which received a Community Arts Grant from Bronx Council on the Arts, Bronx, NY. She has done French-English translations for various theater companies and periodicals. For Lifetime TV Catherine developed her play Eyes of the Heart for a television movie.
Catherine’s plays are published by Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Vintage, DPS, Dramatic Publishing and Prentice Hall. Her anthologies include Silence of God and Other Plays, Seagull Books, London Limited and Dog and Wolf & Killing the Boss, two plays by Catherine Filloux, NoPassport Press. Her plays have been widely anthologized and written about. Her articles have appeared in periodicals and books including American Theatre, Mémoires en Jeu, Manoa, The Drama Review, Routledge, and New Village Press. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in various literary journals.
Filloux has taught playwriting at Vassar College, Department of Drama, Poughkeepsie, NY; Wesleyan University, Theater Department, Middletown, CT; Bennington College, Bennington, VT; New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, NYC; University of Rochester, International Theatre Program, Rochester, NY; The Ohio State University Theatre Department, Columbus, OH; The University of Iowa, Theatre Arts, and International Writing Program, Iowa City, IA; Brandeis University, Arts and Peacebuilding, Waltham, MA; John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Applied Theater and Interdisciplinary Studies, NYC; University of South Carolina Workshop, with Director Andrea Paciotto, La MaMa Umbria & Spoleto, Italy; Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Playwriting Teacher and New Work Festival Coordinator; Playwriting Workshop at the Higher Institute of Drama & Cultural Animation; Rabat, Morocco.
Catherine received her French Baccalaureate in Philosophy with Honors in Toulon, France, and her M.F.A. at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, NYC.
She is a member of the Writers Guild of America, East; Dramatists Guild; Women's Project; and New Georges.
The Catherine Filloux Collection is at the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre-Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; and her Script Archive is in the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, NYC.
Filloux and her work have been featured on TV, radio, film, and in periodicals, nationally and internationally.
Filloux has served as a speaker/panelist at playwriting and human rights events and organizations around the world including:
The Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) Abuja, Nigeria; Dramatists Guild Institute, NYC; Pen America, World Voices Festival, NYC; Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, NYC; Library of Congress, International Literature Series, Washington D.C.; Theatre & Resistance Symposium, The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center, NYC; Japan Society Performing Arts' Rest in Peace, New York, a public forum, NYC; American Library Association Annual Conference, Alexander Street Press Breakfast, Atlanta, GA; Distinguished Speaker Series, Monmouth University, School of Social Work 40th Anniversary, West Long Branch, NJ; Playwriting Workshop for Teen Leadership Summit, Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, NYC; Mount Holyoke College-Simmons College-Smith College, The Women in Public Service Project, Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict, MA; hotINK at the Lark, NYC; Bridges of Understanding's annual conference, Emotionalizing Arab Identity in the Digital Age, Mead Center for American Theater, Washington, DC; Visions and Voices, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, Los Angeles, CA; NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, NYC;
The University of British Columbia, A Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies International Roundtable, Breathing Life Into the Ashes: Resilience, Arts and Social Transformation, Vancouver, Canada; Assumption College, Women’s Studies Program, Worcester, MA; Marymount Manhattan College, Postcolonial Drama and Performance, NYC: Brandeis University, “Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence; Justice-Seeking in Cambodia” Waltham, MA; Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego, “Women, Media, Revolution: Acting Together on the World Stage”; Theatre Communications Group Conference, Los Angeles, CA; Brown University, Literary Arts, Providence, RI, “Khmer Voices Rising: An International Freedom-to-Write Literary Festival Program”; NoPassport Dreaming the Americas Conference, Nuyorican Poets Café, NYC; Culturehub, Artalk, “Maricia Jean, Haitian Activist, Co-Founder of FAVILEK, Fanm Viktim Leve Kanpe, Women Victims Get Up, Stand Up, A performance and panel discussion to honor and remember Haitian women and girls on the anniversary of the earthquake”, NYC;
Yale University, School of Drama, New Haven, CT, International Theater Practice; Kean University, International Conference on American Drama, Union, NJ; Rutgers Newark, The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights, “Art and Disaster: Hurricane Katrina Five Years Later”; Facilitator/Curator/Co-Planner, TWB Conference - Acting Together on the World Stage: Theatre and Peace Building in Conflict Zones, La MaMa, NYC; Fordham University at Lincoln Center, Theater Department, “Theatre & Peace Building in Cambodia Symposium,” NYC; Panelist, Fordham Law School, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, “Brown Bag Lunch Series on International Human Rights,” NYC; Women’s History Museum, San Diego, CA;
Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival, Silver Spring, MD; Wesleyan University, Co-sponsored by Wesleyan's Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Middletown, CT, “A Talk: The Making of Where Elephants Weep”; Left Forum, Pace University, “Playwrights Rekindle the Radical Imagination” NYC; Dalton School, Assembly Sponsored by the Human Rights Club, “A Talk and Excerpt from Dog and Wolf,” NYC; United Nations, 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “IPJ Women PeaceMakers Program”; NoPassport Conference, Nuyorican Poets Café, “Applied Theatre: Genocide Drama in Community,” NYC; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Young Leaders Event, NYC; “ReOrient Forum, Golden Thread, Middle East Center Stage, Theatre and Peace-building,” San Francisco, CA; Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, NYC, The Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, “Panel Discussion on Genocide and Human Rights for the Book Launch of Silence of God and Other Plays”;
DePaul University, College of Law, International Human Rights Law Institute, Chicago, IL, “Advocacy, Expression & Education, Exploring Human Rights through the Arts: Picture This”; Keynote Speaker, Southern Connecticut State University, 10th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference, “The Wake of Memory Lemkin’s House: Remembering Genocide,” New Haven, CT; Amnesty International, Mercer County Group, Princeton, NJ; The Bushwick School for Social Justice, Brooklyn, NY; Multiple Sclerosis Society, Seattle and New Orleans Chapters in conjunction with The Breach, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, and Southern Rep, New Orleans, LA;
Youth Culture Arts Network International Conference, “Shared Spaces,” Sligo, Ireland; Rideau de Bruxelles, Théâtre Marni, co-sponsored by RCN Justice & Démocratie, Brussels, Belgium, “Colloquium Devoir De Voir, in conjunction with La maison de Lemkin”; California Institute of the Arts, “Arts in the One World: Culture and Identity Conference,” Valencia, CA; Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA, “Lessons and Legacies Conference on the Holocaust, Lemkin’s House”; StageSource, “The Artist as Citizen: the Boston Theatre Conference,” Boston, MA; International Peace Research Conference, Calgary, Canada, “Theatre and Peacebuilding”; Smith College, Northampton, MA, “Women and War in Performance”; NYSF/Public Theater, “Imagining Chinatown: Dramatizing Cultural Spaces,” NYC.
SELECTED AWARDS / HONORS / COMMISSIONS
Grawemeyer Award: Catherine Filloux, librettist, for the opera ORLANDO; with composer Olga Neuwirth,
premiere at the Vienna Staatsoper
Catherine Filloux received The 2019 Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship 2019. A major project of Mānoa Foundation is a Hawai‘i writing residency honoring Barry Lopez and emphasizing a spirit of social responsibility. The annual award is given to a writer whose work contributes to an awareness of the civic and ethical obligation of artists; helps us understand, through storytelling, that the survival of a humane world depends upon a commitment to integrity, empathy, and compassionate reconciliation; and inspires us to take social responsibility for the perils, which we have created ourselves, to the human and non-human world. A small committee of writers and advisors, including Lopez, selects one writer each year for the residency.
Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre, New York, NY
First Art & Peacebuilding Scholar, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, CA
The Clementine, poem nominated for the Pushcart Small Press Publishing Awards (published in the Prairie Journal, Alberta, Canada)
This year Planet Connections will honor Catherine Filloux, Playwright of Kidnap Road with the Planet Activist Award. Ms Filloux will be presented with this award due to her long career as an activist artist in the theater community.
Distinguished Speaker, Monmouth University, School of Social Work 40th Anniversary, West Long Branch, New Jersey
Commission as librettist for composer Olga Neuwirth's opera ORLANDO for the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, based on the novel by Virginia Woolf. Libretto for New Opera, 2019 Season
Play Commission for Book Wings Iraq 2014
LMCC The Fund for Creative Communities Grant, with Settlement Housing Fund
LMCC Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant
Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Grant, with Still Waters in a Storm
Ethelwyn Doolittle Justice and Outreach Committee grant
To support Catherine’s new play Selma '65 premiering at La MaMa in New York City, in September - October 2014.
Manhattan Community Arts Fund grant, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY
The Fund for Creative Communities grant, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and NYSCA, New York, NY
Local Arts Support, Brooklyn Arts Council/NYSCA, Brooklyn, NY
Ongoing - Resident Artist, La MaMa, New York, NY
Lambent Foundation Grant, Tides Center, New York, NY
Henry Smith Artist in Residence Programme in Belfast’s Woodvale Cambrai Community Centre and Holy Cross/Wheatfield Primary Schools, The Playhouse Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland
To work as an artist-in-residence with communities in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Voice Award for Artistic Works (Voices of Women)
For Filloux’s body of work as a playwright on human rights San Diego Magazine coverage
LMCC Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant
To support the world premiere of the play “Dog and Wolf,” by Catherine Filloux, presented as the inaugural production of Watson Arts’ “Write Women Project,” a playwriting series dedicated to female playwrights.
Hermitage Artist Retreat, Englewood, FL
New Generations-Future Collaborations Award (Mellon Foundation/TCG)
For her work in Cambodia
Core Writer, The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, MN
Body of Work
PeaceWriting Award (Omni Center for Peace)
1998-2006 5-time Heideman Award Finalist (Actors Theatre of Louisville)
The William Inge Center for the Arts Playwright-In-Residence, Independence, Kansas
The Joe A. Callaway Award, New Dramatists
Now an alumna
Jury for 44th MES International Theater Festival Sarajevo, Bosnia
One of three international jurors selecting winners of Theater Festival
Fulbright Senior Specialist (Higher Institute of Drama & Cultural Animation; Rabat, Morocco)
The Beauty Inside in Arabic
Play Commission; The Ohio State University Theatre Dept. & Office of International Affairs
Opera Commission; Composer Him Sophy, Cambodian Living Arts; John Burt, Producer
Fulbright Senior Specialist (Royal University of Fine Arts; Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Playwriting Workshop/Teaching in Cambodia
James Thurber Playwright-In-Residence, Columbus, Ohio
Contemporary American Theater Festival New Play Commission, West Virginia
Theatreworks/USA New Play Commission, New York City
25th Bay Area Playwrights Festival, San Francisco, CA
Asian Cultural Council Artist’s Residency Grant in Asia (Cambodia), New York City
Weissberger Award Finalist
Roger L. Stevens Award: The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays
Winner Nausicaa Franco-American Play Contest
Van Nostrand Playwright Commission
Eric Kocher Playwrights Award (National Playwrights Conference, O'Neill Theater Center)