Climate Change Theatre Action To Offer Play Readings By Teen Actors As Part Of Festival Albertine 2019

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The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Albertine Books are pleased to announce that Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA), an initiative of the Arctic Cycle, which uses theatre to foster dialogue about the global climate crisis, will offer play four play readings, featuring teen actors, as part of Festival Albertine 2019. Curated by celebrated author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, the weekend-long festival focuses on climate chaos and the race to prevent civilization-scale collapse, and features lead prominent thinkers, politicians, activists, artists, and authors from across the U.S., France, and the francophone world, November 8-10. The CCTA readings take place prior to the discussions on November 9 and 10.

On Saturday, November 9, at 4:30pm, at the start of the festival event "Local Government and Policy Making," a teen actor will read Bare Spaces, by award-winning Ugandan playwright, stage director, and filmmaker Angella Emurwon, whose first full-length play, Strings, was selected to open the 2017 Kampala International Theatre Festival and was featured at the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival.

At 7pm on November 9, prior to the discussion "What We Eat-and How We Grow It-May Need to Change," a teen will read Munich-based Jordanian playwright Amahl Khouri's play Oh How We Loved Our Tuna. Khouri is the author of three plays, including No Matter Where I Go (Beirut 2014) and She He Me, staged in a reading at the Münchner Kammerspiele in December 2016. Khouri is the recipient of a Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellowship from PEN America and was a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab in 2013. Her work has been published in several U.S. journals and in the anthology International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer.

On Sunday, November 10, at 2pm, to kick off the festival event "Environmental Justice," two adolescent actors will give a reading of Blood on the Leaves, by award-winning theater-maker Madeline Sayet, a 2019 Drama League Director-In-Residence, a TED Fellow, an MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow, a National Directing Fellow, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. She was featured in Forbes' 2018 "30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment."

The final reading, of Lenora Champagne's Interview with a Polar Bear, will take place November 10 at 4:30pm, as part of the event "How Do We Get People to Care." Champagne's solo work Memory's Storehouse, which she has performed in New York and Tokyo, is published in the current issue of Performance Research. Traps, a solo performed in parks and community centers in New York City, is published by No Passport Press in Stages of Resistance: Theatre and Politics in the Capitalocene. No Passport also published three of her plays in the collection New World Plays. Interview with a Polar Bear is adapted from her play Staying Afloat, which she directed in the Ice Factory Festival at the Ohio Theatre. She is currently working on a new play, Feeding on Light, about Simone Weil. Champagne is Professor of Theatre and Performance at Purchase College, SUNY.

The Arctic Cycle, the New York-based nonprofit organization behind Climate Change Theatre Action, aims to create an empowering vision of the future and inspire people to take action. Operating on the principle that complex problems must be addressed through collaborative efforts, The Arctic Cycle works with artists, scientists, and community and educational partners across geographic borders. Since its creation, CCTA has presented over 200 readings and performances of short climate change plays worldwide to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings. For more information, please visit

Festival Albertine 2019 brings the immense, daunting subject of climate change-all too often considered in the abstract, or with defeatism-to the human scale of intimate discussions. While unflinchingly assessing the damage that has already been done and the inevitably escalating consequences, the festival looks productively, and with great urgency, towards necessary modes of prevention and ways that governments-and individuals, especially in the absence of government action-can effect change. France has taken an international leadership role on the issue through undertakings including the Paris Agreement, President Macron's Make our Planet Great Again initiative, and the country's efforts to organize an aid package from G7 countries to Brazil to fight wildfires. In the U.S., individuals and institutions have shown what the private sector can do to contribute to solutions. Participants include Mustafa Santiago Ali, Irina Brook, Romain Felli, Malcom Ferdinand, Cherri Foytlin, Lauren Groff, Perrine Hervé-Gruyer, Clément Guerra, Fabrice Hyber, Mark Z. Jacobson, Naomi Klein, Jade Lindgaard, Priscillia Ludosky, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Bryan Parras, Raj Patel, Matthew Raiford, and Marie Toussaint.

The festival takes place at Albertine Books (972 Fifth Avenue) November 8-10. All events will be streamed live at For more information, please visit

Inaugurated in 2014 in the newly opened Albertine Books, Festival Albertine has quickly become a vital summit for discourse between leading French-speaking and American thinkers and has cemented Albertine Books' reputation as New York City's hub for timely French-American intellectual exchange. Author, journalist and cultural critic Greil Marcus curated the 2014 festival, which featured "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, filmmaker Olivier Assayas, author Mary Gaitskill, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash and Fields Medal-winning mathematician Cédric Villani.

Festival Albertine 2015 enlisted innovators including National Book Award-winner Judith Thurman, Performa founding director RoseLee Goldberg, author Adam Gopnik, Ethiopian-American novelist Dinaw Mengestu and The New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly to curate a variety of discussions. Participants included The New Yorker editor David Remnick, graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author Margo Jefferson, and author Katie Roiphe, who were joined by French-speaking voices including Mauritania-born film director Abderrahmane Sissako, Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud and cartoonist and film director Riad Sattouf.

In 2016, Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist and author of the National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me, curated the festival, focusing on questions of labels and categories. After the presidency of Barack Obama, after the 2005 riots, after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, Coates asked participants including Davis Simon, Benjamin Millepied, Claudia Rankine and Benjamin Stora to discuss what our national, social and cultural labels mean today.

Feminist writers and activists Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan curated last year's festival, not only exploring the obstacles confronting women, but also daring "to dream of change and of a legitimate equality between women and men." The vital exchange of ideas between leading thinkers and artists in the U.S. and France included best-selling author of Difficult Women and Bad Feminist Roxane Gay; the "feminist masked avengers" Guerrilla Girls; American pro-choice activist and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards; award-winning film director and screenwriter Houda Benyamina; Act Up activist and co-founder of the radical feminist action group La Barbe, Marie de Cenival; and others. Last year, Masha Gessen, whose work focuses on themes including Russian and American politics, dictatorships, autocracy, and L.G.B.T. rights, explored the theme "Reimagining Democracy," to bring together thinkers, authors, and artists from both sides of the Atlantic to analyze the mechanics of our democracies and focus on ways to renew and strengthen them.

About the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.

About Albertine Books

Described by the New York Times as a "sumptuous, swaddled nest where book lovers can roost," Albertine, the French Embassy's reading room and bookshop, is a haven dedicated to bringing to life French-American intellectual exchange. It holds over 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries, both in French and in English translation. Albertine offers the most comprehensive selection of French-language books and English translations in the United States.

Housed within the historic Payne Whitney Mansion, headquarters of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, the bookshop and cultural space provide unprecedented access to a previously private mansion featuring a stunning new design by one of France's most celebrated modern architects, Jacques Garcia.

Since Albertine opened in September 2014, the Embassy has welcomed thousands of visitors eager to explore French literature and culture. It has become a veritable must-see destination in New York City. Albertine also provides a venue for cross-cultural programming all year long, with discussions exploring culture through both a contemporary and global lens. Every month, French, Francophone, and American writers, as well as artists, illustrators, scholars and entrepreneurs are invited to discuss various topics.

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