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CATHERINE FILLOUX is an award-winning French Algerian American playwright, librettist, and activist, who has been writing about human rights for many decades. Filloux’s new play “How to Eat an Orange” was commissioned by INTAR and premieres at La MaMa in New York City in 2024. Her new musical “Welcome to the Big Dipper” (composer Jimmy Roberts, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”) premieres Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in New York City in 2024; it is a National Alliance for Musical Theatre finalist and received a workshop at the Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, NY (Hunter Foster, AD). Catherine’s new play “White Savior” was nominated for The Venturous Play List. Her plays have been produced nationally, internationally and have been widely anthologized and written about. Filloux is the librettist for four produced operas: “Orlando” (composer Olga Neuwirth) is the first opera by a woman composer-librettist team in the history

of the Vienna State Opera and is the 2022 Grawemeyer Award winner. Catherine has traveled for her plays to conflict-zones including Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Morocco, and to Sudan and South Sudan on an overseas reading tour with the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.

 

Filloux’s plays include: “turning your body into a compass” her livestream web drama at CultureHub, New York City (NYC); “whatdoesfreemean?” at Nora’s Playhouse, NYC; “Kidnap Road”, La MaMa, NYC; “Selma ‘65”, NYC and U.S. tour; “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.); “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, PA; also translated into Arabic for a workshop at ISADAC in Rabat, Morocco; and produced in Iraq, in Kurdish 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 produced throughout the world; “Escuela del Mundo” (commissioned by The Ohio State University, Columbus and Ohio tour.) 

 

Other opera productions: “New Arrivals” (Houston Grand Opera, composer John Glover); “Where Elephants Weep” (Chenla Theatre, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, composer Him Sophy) broadcast on Cambodian national television and Broadway on Demand; “The Floating Box” (Asia Society, NYC, composer Jason Kao Hwang) an Opera News Critic’s Choice and released by New World Records. Filloux is the librettist for the new operas “Blued Trees” (eco-artist Aviva Rahmani; composer Julia Schwartz) and Thresh’s “L’Orient” (composer Kamala Sankaram; choreographer Preeti Vasudevan.)

 

Filloux was invited to Belfast, Northern Ireland for the Henry Smith Artist in Residence Programme with The Derry Playhouse and served as a Juror for Sarajevo’s MES International Theater Festival in Bosnia. She developed the Oral History Project “A Circle of Grace” with the Cambodian Women's Group at St. Rita’s Refugee Center in Bronx, NY. Filloux was Playwright Facilitator for the International Playwright Retreat at La MaMa Umbria in Italy and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist. She 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. Catherine is featured in the documentary film “Acting Together on the World Stage,” and is the co-founder/co-director of Theatre Without Borders, a grassroots volunteer organization. Filloux has been a guest on numerous podcasts speaking about her artist-changemaker work and has volunteered as a speaker for theater and human rights organizations around the world. Catherine has worked on the development of five films for the Reimagining Myself transition prison reentry program with RTA, is the board president of CultureHub, and a mentor to many writers.

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Awards

SELECTED AWARDS / HONORS / COMMISSIONS

 

2022

Grawemeyer Award: Catherine Filloux, librettist, for the opera ORLANDO; with composer Olga Neuwirth,

premiere at the Vienna Staatsoper

npr.org

2019

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. 

http://manoafoundation.org/residencies

2017

Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre, New York, NY

Castillo.org

 

2016

First Art & Peacebuilding Scholar, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, CA

University of San Diego

2015

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.

Broadway World

Distinguished Speaker, Monmouth University, School of Social Work 40th Anniversary, West Long Branch, New Jersey

"The Theatre of Human Rights" 

2014

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

MOCK COURT

LMCC The Fund for Creative Communities Grant, with Settlement Housing Fund

SELMA '65

LMCC Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant 

SELMA '65

Brooklyn Arts Council Community Arts Grant, with Still Waters in a Storm 

SELMA '65

2013

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. 

2012

Manhattan Community Arts Fund grant, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York, NY

LUZ

The Fund for Creative Communities grant, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and NYSCA, New York, NY

LUZ

Local Arts Support, Brooklyn Arts Council/NYSCA, Brooklyn, NY

Urban Excavations

Honorary Jury, Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance, The Third Biennial William Saroyan Prize for Playwriting, Pasadena, CA 
 

2011

Ongoing - Resident Artist, La MaMa, New York, NY

Lambent Foundation Grant, Tides Center, New York, NY 

LUZ

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

 

2010

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

 

2009

New Generations-Future Collaborations Award (Mellon Foundation/TCG)

For her work in Cambodia

 

2007

Core Writer, The Playwrights’ Center, Minneapolis, MN

Body of Work

 

2006 

PeaceWriting Award (Omni Center for Peace)

Lemkin’s House

1998-2006 5-time Heideman Award Finalist (Actors Theatre of Louisville)

Photographs From S-21, White Trash, Lessons of My Father, The Beauty Inside, Passion.com

The William Inge Center for the Arts Playwright-In-Residence, Independence, Kansas

Killing the Boss

 

2005 

The Joe A. Callaway Award, New Dramatists

Now an alumna

 

2004 

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

Escuela Del Mundo

Opera Commission; Composer Him Sophy, Cambodian Living Arts; John Burt, Producer

Where Elephants Weep

 

2003 

Fulbright Senior Specialist (Royal University of Fine Arts; Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

Playwriting Workshop/Teaching in Cambodia

 

James Thurber Playwright-In-Residence, Columbus, Ohio

Lemkin’s House

 

2002 

Contemporary American Theater Festival New Play Commission, West Virginia

Silence of God

Theatreworks/USA New Play Commission, New York City

Arthur’s War

25th Bay Area Playwrights Festival, San Francisco, CA

Eyes of the Heart

 

2001

Asian Cultural Council Artist’s Residency Grant in Asia (Cambodia), New York City

Photographs From S-21

Weissberger Award Finalist

Eyes of the Heart

 

1999 

Roger L. Stevens Award: The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays

Eyes of the Heart

Winner Nausicaa Franco-American Play Contest

Photographs From S-21

 

1998 

Van Nostrand Playwright Commission

Mary and Myra

 

1996 

Eric Kocher Playwrights Award (National Playwrights Conference, O'Neill Theater Center)

Eyes of the Heart

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