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Grant number like: FA-58437-15

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Stephanie Berard
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 5/31/2016

A History of Haitian Theater since the 1970s: The Power of the Stage

By retracing the history of Haitian theater from the 1970s until today, this research project aims to reveal the vitality of an art largely unknown and understudied. It examines the generational and gender shifts in dramatic writing from an older group of playwrights under the Duvalier's dictatorship or in exile to a younger generation, from predominantly male to the vibrant participation of contemporary female dramatists. By analyzing the issues, forms and aesthetics of Haitian plays written and performed in French and/or Creole, emphasizing the engaged dimension of this theater, this research reflects upon the collective experience of trauma, loss, and on the power of art to engender rebirth, especially more than four years after the 2010 earthquake. Countering stereotypes and defeatist perspectives commonly associated with Haiti, its theater exemplifies the key role of cultural production as a means of national renewal.