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


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


Individual coaching provided by a committed professional mentor


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




applications since 2014


alumni over 5 seasons


success rate in admissions to national acting schools


renowned professional partners

"We saw that these people were not present in public theater, which is unacceptable. You could be the daughter of a diplomat from Ghana and not get a part because you're black. Here, it's about society and what these actors can bring."

Stanislas Nordey
Théâtre National de Strasbourg

“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

The way forward

  • Ensure continuing professional prospects for the alumni
  • Assist alumni in their carreer generally

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.