Ier Acte

Diversity takes center stage in the French theater!

Supporting the professional integration of young actors from diverse social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This is the objective of the 1er Acte program, a daring initiative developed by the National Theater of Strasbourg, the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and the SNCF Foundation. 

The challenge

"Building links and celebrating cultural diversity by combining disruptive action, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the defense of universal values."


Firoz Ladak
CEO of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Joining the likes of “good luck”  and  “Macbeth,”  it  would  seem  the  words  “cultural  diversity” are also unuttered on the stage.  National drama schools and French theaters still have a long way to go in providing equal opportunities to budding actors of color.

Founded on this principle,  Ier Acte  is  placing  a  spotlight  on  the  issue  of  social exclusion in the world of theater based on ethnic and racial prejudices and defends the right for all to take to the stage.

 

Our ambition

Shakespeare once said that the “purpose of playing” is to hold “the mirror up to nature”. When the reflection shining back at us no longer reflects the diversity of the society in which we live, it is surely a sign that the world of French theater must act.

We are working hard to give momentum to this call for change and we are doing so by helping new actors of color take to the stage and reflect the truly diverse society in which we live.

Supporting equal opportunities in the performing arts industry

By allowing young actors, regardless of their origins, to play the role of their lives and to become inspiring role models

Inviting multiculturalism to play its part on the French stage

By helping the world of theater open its eyes, look forward and be more inclusive in their practices

Inspiring and curating nascent careers in acting

By fighting against the discriminations that hinder access to art and culture

Our solutions

Training

A series of actor’s workshops offering intensive trainings and masterclasses taught by renowned actors and directors

Mentoring

Individual coaching provided by a committed professional mentor

Empowerment

Free access to the Avignon Festival and and an invitation to all the shows of partner theaters

 

Results

370

applications
since 2014

66

recipients
over 4 seasons

75%

success rate in
admissions to national acting schools

15

renowned
professional partners

“Still today, the discussions we had with the participants, the teachings they gave us, they resonate in me. I learned a lot of things about myself thanks to Ier Acte. I was pushed to explore and test my limits and to really go for it.”

Souleymane Jules Sylla
former participant
Ier Acte season 1

“Ier Acte is making its small contribution to raising a broader awareness among stage directors and theater directors who need to be made aware of the issue of representativeness in the theater of a diverse population.”

Stéphane Braunschweig
Director
the Théâtre National de l'Odéon

The way forward

  • Establish a name for ourselves and become a key player in promoting diversity and the fight against discrimination within the live performing arts sector
  • Extend our partnership to other French theater organizations in Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Marseille
  • Unite scriptwriters, directors, producers, school heads, associations and researchers and catalyze a real debate on the subject of diversity

Connect with the program

Follow the latest news and events of Ier Acte 

Play your role in our vision!

We are looking to work with engaged partners who share our passion and desire to make significant change.