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“Catherine Filloux is a leading light in the richest sense. There's darkness out there in the world, and she carries discernment and courage forward in text and action, inspiring reflection that urges action, and hope that orients progressive change. There's darkness in here - in the heart's disordered appetites - and she has the moxy and the patience to discover light's prime in the midst of a soul's confusion. Genocide, injustice - unkindness - are subjects; love, graceful poetics, and a deeply collaborative practice are her healing address. This is a highfalutin look at her mercies. But her humor, her romantic dancing, and her esthetic and corporeal hospitality are as ready and as bold. A leading light, and we follow, because it's time.” 

―Erik Ehn, former head of playwriting at Brown University, and former dean of theater at CalArts, award-winning playwright 


“Catherine Filloux is a brilliant playwright and advocate for the theater who is not afraid to address complex issues of social justice, inequality, and political violence. She understands in her bones the power of theater to bring together people from communities at odds with each other, and her work, on stage and off, bridges differences linguistic, political, and social. It is always a good idea to pay attention to what she is attending to. For there lies the future of humankind, bright or dark as it may be.”

―Christopher Merrill, director, Iowa’s International Writing Program, and author


“We made the impossible possible in a conflict zone, we also highlighted the role of the arts in human rights issues in the region, faced fear by going to conflict and post-conflict zones, showing solidarity, meeting, talking, and working with people most in need of help in their homeland while being forgotten by the international community. In addition to all that was important to local women and the participants particularly young female, it showed how to make the arts a platform to raise women's issues, and finally support the continuity of ArtRole's collaboration work with the United States.”

―Adalet R. Garmiany, artist and survivor from Iraqi Kurdistan, founder of arts organization ArtRole

“The works of playwright Catherine Filloux radiate truth and integrity, two pillars of great art. Yes, she is a champion for social justice and human rights, but without truth and integrity this would be meaningless. Bringing her heart and soul to reveal the human condition--this is what I admire most about the theater of Catherine Filloux.”

―Ralph Samuelson, former director, Asian Cultural Council

“There is truth and beauty in the realness of her characters, in the realness of their situations and we look into their hearts, and we see their fragility and come to admire their strength and resilience.”

―Carlyle Brown, playwright, performer, the artistic director and founder of Carlyle Brown & Company

“I have been engaged in human rights work since the early 1990s and I, like other Cambodians of my generation, survived the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields as a child. While art is essential, art for a greater purpose is even more critical. Catherine Filloux represents that rare breed of artists. She is endowed with great talents, but she uses her talents for the benefit of the world. While she is naturally gifted with words, she goes out of her way to fortify her work with the intensity of a serious scholar and the heart of a passionate activist. The end result is a body of work that informs and provokes the mind, affirms our humanity, and binds us all on a quest to improve our communities and our world.”

―Chivy Sok, international human rights advocate and children’s rights activist

“Catherine Filloux illuminates the humanity of the warriors who combat the world's atrocities in ways that stick with us for years, impacting the way we think about how we intersect with each one of them. She is truly changing the world--one play at a time.”        

―Christine Toy Johnson, award-winning actor, playwright, director, and advocate for inclusion

“Catherine Filloux’s remarkable artistry and advocacy is well-known to me, in performance, reading and discussion. It is reflective of her thirty years of engagement in communities devastated by outbreaks of incomprehensible violence. In my view, Catherine is motivated by an underlying mission to resurrect and to grapple with the profound, provocative and disturbing questions entangled in the roots of human rights and social justice.”

―Roberta Levitow, senior program associate/international with Sundance Institute Theatre Program; co-founder of Theatre Without Borders and co-initiator of Acting Together at the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program, Brandeis University

“Catherine Filloux finds the spark of humanity in people caught in the most wretched circumstances and transforms their stories into art. Her plays transport us to Cambodia or Bosnia where we in the audience become witnesses. Our hearts are full with anguish and with admiration for the characters as well as their author. She is not only an accomplished and award-winning playwright but a rare voice that transcends her craft and speaks to what ills us today.”

―Elizabeth Becker, award-winning Senior Foreign Editor for National Public Radio, and a New York Times correspondent

“When I watch one of her plays, I’m drawn in to look where I otherwise might not look, compelled not to look away until I understand an issue more deeply than before.  The experience changes me.  Catherine shows us how hope rises over despair—she goes to where there’s darkness, then brings her innate light, her hope, her ability to see the power in people to come forward in their power to bring change and healing.”

―Eileen Lawrence, co-founder of Alexander Street Press, now ProQuest, Vice President of Sales, and Chief Inspiration Officer at Coherent Digital

“In a world besieged by authoritarian leadership, freedom of speech and all civil liberties are in jeopardy. Theatre artists have emerged as essential change agents, working selflessly in areas of conflict, often at personal risk, to introduce hope and strategic plans of action for emotional and creative survival. Unique among them is the award-winning playwright, and social activist Catherine Filloux, who for more than thirty years has made this her personal mission. Catherine's creativity as artist, playwright and librettist has been an unrelenting presence in challenging areas of conflict across the globe and she maintains essential connections with the artists and civic leaders as she uncovers new areas of distress and need. Catherine exemplifies the invaluable role that artists play, arming her creative colleagues with the tools and the courage to persevere.”

―Joan D. Firesteone, former executive director of The Moth and co-director, LPTW Gilder-Coigney International Theatre Award Program

Catherine Filloux’s plays continually illuminate fascinating characters who are challenged to be courageous in the face of political, social, and personal challenges. Her themes portray the unyielding adventurous spirit attempting to come to terms with the intricacies of personal and political struggles. Filloux is fascinated by global political issues, her plays woven with the threads of political and social commentary and ethical dilemmas. Her characters reflect the unending human dilemma: how to commit to political/ethical beliefs as these beliefs challenge our personal relationships. Through Catherine’s characters we confront each individual’s task to try and come to terms with the particular historical context of the society they inhabit. Complexity is presented without compromise.


The political is personal in her narratives, and this intermingling creates stories that resonate with humor, empathy, and compelling awareness. On multiple levels. Her ability to intertwine these aspects without losing the individual humanity of her characters is nothing short of particularly distinctive and compelling to watch unfold on the stage. Her plays intellectually challenge with humor and are emotionally fulfilled. Catherine Filloux’s work demonstrates her masterful commitment to exploring the depths of the human experience.

―Cassandra Medley, playwright

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