This year’s Atlanta Francophonie Festival hooks up with Théâtre du Rêve’s Nearly New Festival to feature nine play readings with themes as varied and current as bullying and our obsession with Facebook. 

THE FILM "Sister" features Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files").
SCREENING: “Sister” with Gillian Anderson.

The multicultural event, running March 14-30 at venues around town, includes a film, interactive workshops, brunches and an opening-night jazz concert. The play readings are being performed with an eye toward which might be produced in the future.

Francophones are people who speak French – about 200 million in 57 countries. Each March they celebrate their shared language and diverse cultures in Francophonie festivals around the world.

The Atlanta fest is geared to Georgia’s French-speaking community, but you don’t have to speak French to take part. Most readings are in English with French supertitles, or in French with English supertitles. A few events are free; most are $12. Here are some highlights (for tickets and a full schedule, go HERE):

OPENING NIGHT JAZZ CONCERT. Swiss pianist Alex Bugnon, accompanied by local musicians. Bugnon has won two Soul Train Awards and his debut album hit the R&B Top 40. Reception follows. 7 p.m. March 14. Alliance Francaise, Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree St. N.E. Free.

SISTER. A film set in a Swiss ski resort, where a young boy supports his older sister by stealing from well-to-do tourists. Features Gillian Anderson. 7 p.m. March 15. Alliance Francaise. Free.

Cover of Jane, the Fox and Me. Illustration by Isabelle Arsenault
READER’S THEATER: The graphic novel goes live.

JANE, THE FOX AND ME. A reader’s theater version of the graphic novel about a young bullying victim who feels alone in the world until she finds refuge in the pages of Jane Eyre. With Park Krausen, co-producing artistic director of Théâtre du Rêve, Atlanta’s French-language theater company. Family-friendly. In French with English supertitles. 10 a.m. March 21; 2 p.m. March 22-23. Rodriguez Room at the Goat Farm Arts Center, 1200 Foster St. N.W. $12.

GOODWILL. Canadian Franny Britt’s award-winning drama focuses on a wealthy lawyer, his client and a dear friend’s son, who’s in a coma. In French with English supertitles. 8 p.m. March 26 (conversation with Britt and a reception follow); 10 a.m. March 28. Rodriguez Room at the Goat Farm. $12.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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