Works by Women

Supporting creative work by women

Celebrating International Theatre & Rwandan Artist Odile Gakire Katese

Odile Gakire Katese is a trailblazing theater artist — playwright, director, actress, activist and poet.  She grew up in Zaire, and only learned as a young adult that her family had fled their native Rwanda due to unrest in the country.  She returned to Rwanda, and has created theatrical work that is breathtaking, insightful, moving and ultimately healing. She can now add to her accomplishments the inaugural Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award, which will be presented to her on Sunday, October 16th by the League of Professional Theatre Women.  The award ceremony will be held at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The following day —  Monday, October 17th — Ms. Katese will be the guest of honor at an all day symposium about her work and international theatre at the Martin E. Segal Theatre, Graduate Center, CUNY (365 Fifth Avenue, between 34th & 35th St.).  The program is as follows:

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Odile Gakire Katese “in her own words”
excerpts from Sweet Dreams, Ngwino Ubeho and Book of Life

4:00pm – 6pm
Status and projects of women working in International Theatre
Panel discussion moderated by Anne Cattaneo, Lincoln Center Theater dramaturg, founder and head of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors’ Lab and recipient of the prestigious 2011 Margo Jones Award

Also participating:
Gerda Stevenson SCOTLAND
Dijana Milosevic
Odile Gakire Katese RWANDA
Deborah Asiimwe UGANDA
Martha Coigney USA

6:30pm – 8pm
An Evening with Odile Gakire Katese
Scenes from Ngwino Ubeho, excerpts from Book of Life and a clip from Sweet Dreams, a film by Lisa Fruchtman and Rob Fruchtman about Odile’s unique vision.

These presentations are free and open to the public.  Reservations may be made by E-mailing

Ms. Katese has said, “My business card should actually say professional dreamer.” Her dream is to create a culture of hope and happiness in a country still dealing with the emotional and cultural repercussions of 1994, when more than 800,000 people of the small East African nation were murdered, the vast majority of whom fell within a mere 100 days. Ms. Katese describes her motivation for her work: “Each project is a line I throw out in order to join with others…an opportunity to let my heart speak…to officially declare my fire for humanity.”


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This entry was posted on October 14, 2011 by in Uncategorized.

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