99 News May 2020 (uk)

Lire la newsletter en français

During the lockdown, we intensively used video conferencing tools and made the first funny or laborious tests. Excerpts: “Can you hear me there? I can’t see you anymore. Activate your microphone, it’s bottom left! How do I share the screen? “. Little by little new habits entered our daily life. The forced dematerialization of our creative activities, a paradox for a writing and theatre project like the 99 PROJECT based so deeply on the presence of living bodies, allowed astonishing progress and opened new perspectives.

Where are we now ?

99 VOICES, Habitat & Humanisme (H&H) France

“The text, you have to get into it”. X.P-B, participant in the H&H writing workshops

At the end of April, after 6 weeks of lockdown, I called Astrid Perroy in charge of cultural actions with the tenants of the Habitat and Humanism Federation (H&H) to suggest to dematerialize the writing workshops and we quickly decided to test the idea the following week. The Habitat and Humanism writing workshops are based on extraordinary material: a collection of 200 stories, impressions, memories, poems and even short political essays collected from volunteers, tenants and employees of the movement. These texts are the cornerstone of the future play 99 VOICES. At each writing session, I introduce two texts and suggest rewriting directions to the participants who come from all France. We write the snapshots together according to the 99 format and produce the monologues of the future play. Then we read them loud. After the workshop, everyone sends their contributions. We are now at the 4th workshop and I note, with ever renewed joy, the subtle shift that writing operates on the texts as on the participants. At the beginning, many participants did not dare to endorse the texts of people very different from them. They were reluctant let themselves be touched to carry and relay the words of another person. But neither do they dare to emancipate from the original texts and treat them with joyful casualness. But then, the click occurs and a participant exclaims: “the text, you have to get into it”


 “I am seen as a rebel. But in fact, it’s just that I don’t like one-track thinking. ” F. from the collective Women Be Board Ready

On May 7 took place the first session of the project 99 WOMEN BOARD READY lead in collaboration with Viviane de Beaufort, professor at ESSEC Business School and the collective Women Be Board Ready that gathers female corporate executives, either members of management committees or called to become so. The project provides these women with an innovative platform to share and discuss their experience of power. My role is to create a play based by their “board stories“. The first live session explored the “newcomer” situation. What happens to a woman who joins for the first time a board of directors mainly made up of men? What posture does she adopt? Does she dare to raise a different voice, perhaps dissonant during the meetings? The method of documentary writing reveals a great diversity of experiences and allows to explore in depth the relationship that these women have with power, what they engage in it, the way they intend to exercise it and also the way they talk about it, between conformism and rebellion. The future play will be presented to the public at the end of the program (September 2020) staged with the members of the collective.

99 LIVE LEBANON, Lebanon

The 99 LIVE LEBANON project has been postponed many times because of the revolution, then the financial crisis and finally the virus. Does it left us helpless? Not at all. The 99 PROJECT has decided to launch online writing workshops in French, English and Arabic inspired by the filmed portraits of the Zyara web series. It starts in June, it’s free, open to everyone and without obligation.

Register here. Registration form
To know more about the project and the writing workshops. Read the article

What’s next?


The 99 PROJECT team designed an innovative approach to energize and mobilize teams after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown that followed were a shock for the company revealing its weaknesses and its strengths: decrease of income, demand evolution, supply chain vulnerability, altered work organization, accelerated digitization…A simple “back to normal” is not really possible. The 99 PROJECT suggest a solution that leverages the driving force of a collective narrative and the identification power of theater. It aims to create and stage in collaboration a short play that articulates the lessons of the crisis, the renewed vision of the business strategy and celebrates reunion on stage.

Read the article in English

Access directly to the presentation of the idea (slides)

Best wishes
Geneviève Flaven

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *