Salome wins 7 Helen Hayes Awards

Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Salome, adapted and directed by Yaël Farber dominated the play category of the Helen Hayes awards on May 23rd, winning 7 awards.

·      Best Play
·      Best Director – Yaël Farber
·      Best Ensemble in a Play
·      Best Choreography in a Play – Ami Shulman
·      Best Lighting Design – Donald Holder
·      Best Set Design – Susan Hilferty
·      Robert Prosky Award for lead actor in a play –          Ramzi Choukair


With ‘Les Blancs,’ Yael Farber Resurrects a Rebuke of Colonialism

PARIS — In discussing her work, the theater director Yael Farber often invokes the concept of a “reckoning” — a potent word from someone who was raised in apartheid South Africa and whose latest production, a reworking of Lorraine Hansberry’s unfinished play “Les Blancs,” dramatizes the effects of African colonialism.

“Les Blancs,” which had a brief run on Broadway in 1970 but had languished since then, opened last month at the National Theater in London to impressive reviews, with The Guardian calling it “a near-perfect production of an imperfect play.”







Yael Farber this month at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris.  Credit Guia Besana for The New York Times

Yael Farber this month at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. 
Credit Guia Besana for The New York Times


From Arthur Miller's The Crucible, to a play about an African country on the edge of civil war and a creation inspired by the Delhi bus gang rape performed by survivors of sexual attacks, Yaël Farber is an award-winning, groundbreaking director and playwright. She has brought her adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie to Paris, relocating the action from a Swedish count's estate in the 1870s to a farm in South Africa 20 years after apartheid.




Les Blancs opened on March 30th 2016 on the Olivier Stage at the National Theatre in London, UK.
Read the reviews here.

★★★★★ 'Yaël Farber searing production brings Lorraine Hansberry’s unfinished play to life' The Stage

★★★★ 'Revolution so real you can smell it' Observer

★★★★ ‘Powerful. Jaw-dropping’ Time Out 

★★★★★ ‘An exquisite production’ Daily Telegraph

★★★★ ‘Epic. Near-perfect’ Guardian

★★★★ ‘The brilliant South African director Yaël Farber (Mies Julie, The Crucible at the Old Vic) has unleashed its tragic power’ What's On Stage

'Angry but even-handed, the monumental simplicity of director Yaël Farber staging creates a space for careful reflection of a delicate issue — and on the National Theater’s main stage, that feels momentous in its own right.' Variety





SHEILA ATIM as The Woman Photo by Johan Persson

SHEILA ATIM as The Woman
Photo by Johan Persson

Salomé - 10 Helen Hayes award nominations

Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company's premiere of Yaël Farber's Salomé nominated for 10 Helen Hayes Awards. See the full list



Salomé Helen Hayes Nominations

Outstanding Original Play or Adaptation - Yaël Farber
Outstanding Play - Salomé
Outstanding Director of a Play - Yaël Farber
Outstanding Costume Design - Susan Hilferty
Outstanding Lighting Design -  Donald Holder
Outstanding Set Design - Susan Hilferty
Outstanding Sound Design - Mark Bennett
Outstanding Ensemble in a Play - Salomé 
Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play - Ramzi Choukair
Outstanding Choreography in a Play - Ami Shulman

Sexual violence survivors take centre stage in 'Nirbhaya'

2012, in Delhi, India, a woman was beaten and gang raped and later died from her injuries. The woman, whose name was Jyoti Singh Pandey, became widely known by the name "Nirbhaya", which means fearless.

"Nirbhaya" is also the name of a play that is inspired by Jyoti Singh Pandey. In it, a cast of women, all real-life survivors of sexual assault, tell their stories on stage to encourage others to break their silence and end sexual violence around the world.

Poorna Jagannathan is a producer and actor in Nirbhaya. She was with us in our Toronto studio.
Yaël Farber is the writer and director of the play. She was in our Montreal Studio.

Nirbhaya is currently on tour. Its run has recently finished in Vancouver, and is now playing in Toronto. You can find more information on their website.

This segment was produced by The Current's Julian Uzielli.