Great and fruitful insights from the « 99 women » project held in Shanghai in 2015

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How it all began

In 2015, a passionate team, driven by Geneviève Flaven, the author, director and producer of the play 99 women built a dazzling, dramatic creation, combining theatre, choreography, music and photography.

99 women, 99 snapshots of women’s lives – funny, tragic, ordinary, remarkable… stories, one play

The three performances took place in October in Shanghai where 99 actresses gathered. They were Chinese, French, Iranian, African, Italian… and they shared their destiny for a while and all aimed to celebrate “being a woman” in their singular way.

Not only did the play find its audience; it was also praised as a high quality production, a “touching performance”, a “dynamic and skillful creation process”, and most of all “a very innovative play”, “cultural, non-business driven and focused on humanity”.

The foundations

The play was indeed very innovative in its inner writing, with very short fragments, all beginning with “I am…” or “My name is..”

Staging was also inventive with almost 99 actresses on stage!

The objective of the play – discover the unique identity of every woman and her relationship to this uniqueness – echoed the concerns of the public, whether people were spectators, sponsors, new to or already part of the project.

With a creative team, and with the strong support of La Ruche –the French network of active women in Shanghai – women stood and worked together to produce 99 women; they were actresses, coordinators, and members of the sponsors or communication team.

Volunteers made it possible, driven by the extraordinary dynamism and strength generated by the collaborative project! Everyone discovered a creative, cultural and non-commercial universe, not business, but human-driven. At the same time they developed new skills, and experienced an enthusiasm that went beyond their expectations! As Geneviève Flaven said

“Everyone came looking for something and everyone found something.”

And so the foundations of a new project were laid…

Widening the collaborative project

From the performances, 99 Women opened the door to curiosity and questioning. In particular, a number of the audience claimed to have interesting things to say and share, and stated they would like to take part in such a project: MEN !

Others, men and women, were also interested in writing…

Questions were asked about the stories behind 99 women: did they come from real lives? Are they the real tales of each actress?

The truth is some of the stories were inspired by real life, some were private memories of Geneviève, and some were the stories of undisclosed celebrities…

With these observations and new ideas in mind, Marguerite Deperrois convinced Geneviève Flaven to consider launching a new project in 2016-2017, based on her original idea…

and so the 99 project was born!