Hanane Hajj Ali – Writer and Performer from Lebanon, awarded The League of Professional Theatre Women’s Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award 2020

On the occasion of Hanane Hajj Ali receiving The League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award 2020, in February 2021, we are bringing back into focus our audio interview with Hajj Ali: Hanane Hajj Ali, writer and performer of Jogging: Theatre in Progress, talks with Fringe Review’s Jo Tomalin about the development of her one woman show, at the Singapore Fringe Festival in 2019.

Photo credits: Jo Tomalin (l), Marwan Tahtah (r).

First, some information about the Gilder/Coigney Award Program:

The League of Professional Theatre Women’s (LPTW) Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award Program website states that the award “was established in 2011 in honor of Rosamond Gilder and Martha Coigney, two legendary practitioners and diplomats whose work on the international stage proved that theatre knows no boundaries. Presented every three years, this award acknowledges the exceptional work of a non-U.S. theatre woman, promotes expanded visibility and new opportunities for the Awardee and her sister nominees, and fosters connections and networking with LPTW members and local cultural institutions.”

In 2020 there were 26 nominees from 18 countries for the Gilder/Coigney Award. The award is usually presented in New York, but due to the pandemic, the 2020 award was presented virtually,  on February 15, 2021.

LPTW YouTube Channel: View Hajj Ali receiving the Gilder/Coigney award and hear her acceptance speech here. View a fascinating 20 minute film about Hajj Ali and her background, followed by an interview for a Gilder/Coigney Award Event “How to Keep Creating While everything Around You is Falling Apart: A Conversation with Hanane Hajj Ali” and Torange Yeghiazarian, Founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Productions, here.

Fringe Review Audio Interview:

Hanane Hajj Ali, Artist, Activist, Writer and Performer of Jogging: Theatre in Progress talks with Jo Tomalin (at the Singapore Fringe Festival) about her background, the development of her one woman show, touring internationally and in her home country of Lebanon.

“JOGGING transgresses the Lebanese Bermuda triangle of taboos: religion, politics, and sex, and presents a radical challenge to the stereotypes and prejudices that afflict global perceptions of Arab women. Telling the “unspoken stories” while citizens’ voices are being silenced especially those of women and artists echoes with the thirst to regain basic human rights, and contributes in shifting perspectives of thinking, thereby generating a critical reception of the work, so that the Still Waters of stagnant perception modes are stirred.”

“Born in Lebanon, Hanane Hajj Ali is an actress, author, researcher, and cultural activist; a prominent figure in the cultural and artistic scene in the Arab region. Her artistic career started in 1978 as a founding member of the Hakawati Theater (Lebanese Theatre of Storytellers) and she has performed in prestigious theatres and festivals, completing several regional and international tours.”

At the 2019 M1 Singapore Fringe Festival with (l to r) Jo Tomalin, Jemima Foxtrot, Hanane Hajj Ali, and Sean Tobin, M1 Fringe Festival Artistic Director;  Photo Credit: Sean Tobin.

Listen to our interview with Hanane Hajj Ali (20 minutes):