Project winners Claire Wagener, Frédérique Colling and Catherine Elsen; Credit: Focuna

The Fonds culturel national (Focuna) has announced that the Edmond-Dune 2019 Scholarship has been awarded to Claire Wagener, in collaboration with Frédérique Colling and Catherine Elsen, for the co-written project "D’Anne an d’Annette".

As part of its live performance support policy, Focuna launched the Edmond-Dune theatrical scholarship in 2017, named after Edmond Dune (1914-1988), a French-speaking writer, poet and playwright in Luxembourg. The scholarship, financed by private sponsors and Focuna, aims to support the artistic process of creating an innovative work in the field of the performing arts.

This year's jury, composed of Vesna Andonovic (critic), Frank Feitler (playwright and former director of the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg) and Andreas Wagner (playwright), unanimously decided to support the project "D’Anne an d’Annette".

Commenting on this decision, the jury said: "Several aspects of the project proposed by Claire Wagener, entitled "D’Anne an d’Annette" motivated this [unanimous] choice: the audacity of the humorous approach to a plethora of serious themes and its bias of a light tone to talk about serious things, the approach bringing different artistic visions into dialogue, since it is based on close collaboration with the two performers of the play, as well as the consideration of the upstream feasibility of the project and the planning of its realisation ensured by the participation of the collective MASKéNADA. The jury is especially pleased to be able to support the first steps of a young author, to follow her artistic evolution and to discover the fruit of this creative work".

While the play will be based on the improvisation skills of actresses Frédérique Colling and Catherine Elsen, Claire Wagener will accompany the creation process and will shape the different contributions of the actresses. The collective work will thus set the tone of the writing so that it can account for the singularity of the interaction between Frédérique Colling and Catherine Elsen.

Proposed synopsis: The project takes place [behind] a closed door that both encloses and connects two women at the end of their lives. This space refers to real places such as a retirement home or a psychiatric hospital but it also symbolises a mental space representing the closures of mind and the cul-de-sacs of lifestyle that we impose on ourselves. Taken in the turmoil of existential questions, the two women embark on a risky odyssey within and beyond the institutional walls. At the heart of a seemingly classic friendship between two elderly ladies unfolds a surreal journey through the land of their dreams and memories, a journey that will inevitably test the courage of the two characters. 

"D’Anne an d’Annette" will be produced by MASKéNADA and co-produced by Cercle Cité. Performances are scheduled for the 2019/20 season.