Young Audience Program
She No Princess, He No Hero
Created and directed by Johanny Bert
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 11am ET
Grades 2–7 • In English • 40 mins followed by a Q&A
FIAF is thrilled to provide schools with the fantastic opportunity to watch the adapted online version of the beloved play She No Princess, He No Hero!
An intimate story told through the voices of two children who rebel against gender stereotypes and societal expectations, She No Princess, He No Hero engages students with contemporary issues, while exposing them to an international artistic creation and inter-cultural dialogue.
Conceived by celebrated French director Johanny Bert and based on a text by acclaimed French playwright Magali Mougel, the show is performed in English. This engaging virtual performance will be broadcast LIVE on Zoom with kids able to interact with the actors during the performance via chat and polls. Students will be asked in advance to select their favorite word, prop and song from a list in order to impact the story, creating a customizable experience. A Q&A with the actors will follow the performance and make for a richer and more memorable experience for your students.
Leïli (Marleny Heredia) and Nils (Matthew ZanFagna) are classmates. Leïli likes to hunt, to dress like boys, and to put gel in her hair. Since she lives in the country, her mother dresses her in practical clothes: “No dresses, no ballet flats”. Nils likes to wear his hair long, shows his emotions, and is not physically strong. His father worries about him: “He is thin as a rail, he eats like a bird, and he has the haircut of a little girl.” Together, the children will grow up without being either a princess or a hero, learning instead to forge their own unique identities.
Following its world premiere at FIAF during the 2019 TILT Kids Festival, She No Princess, He No Hero toured in New York City’s public schools for more than a year, receiving fantastic feedback from students and teachers alike. As a result of the pandemic, FIAF successfully presented a newly adapted online version of the play which premiered in June 2020.
Cast & Creative Team
Marleny Heredia (Leïli)
Matthew ZanFagna (Nils)
Conception and direction by Johanny Bert
Assistant director: Dylan Ungaretta
Text commissioned from Magali Mougel
Translation by Christopher Campbell
Illustrations: Michael Ribaltchenko
Props & costumes: Thibaut Fack
Administration, production, touring: Mathieu Hilléreau and Les Indépendances
Produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
With the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Johanny Bert is a French actor, director, and puppeteer.
Bert trained as an actor at the Ateliers of the Comédie de St-Etienne and studied puppetry with Alain Recoing of the Théâtre aux Mains Nues, Paris. He gradually developed his own theatrical language through the works he created and the people he met while doing them, including working with props and puppet theater. In 2000, in Puy-en-Velay he founded the Compagnie Théâtre de Romette, an experimental space for creation. His company was in residence at the Théâtre Municipal in Puy-en-Velay, then at Polaris in Corbas (69). From January 2012 to December 2015, Johanny Bert was the director of the Centre Dramatique National de Montluçon – Le Fracas, after which he returned to directing and working with Compagnie Théâtre de Romette. Since 2018, Johanny Bert is an Associate Artist at the Bateau Feu, scène nationale of Dunkirk. His works that are accessible for young audiences include Le petit bonhomme à modeler (2002–2008), Les pieds dans les nuages – inspired by a plastician photographer, Robert Parkeharisson (2004–2012), Les orphelines – written by Marion Aubert (2009–2012), De Passage – written by Stéphane Jaubertie (2014-2018), Patoussalafoi– a contemporary opera by Matteo Franceschini and Philippe Dorin (2015–2016), Elle pas princesse, lui pas héros – written by Magali Mougel (2015-2017) and its American version She No Princess, He No Hero, produced by FIAF as part of 2019 TILT Kids Festival, Le Petit Bain– choreographed by Yan Raballand, and in 2020 Frissons – written by Magali Mougel and later recreated as a digital theatrical adaptation for FIAF and Théâtre de Sartrouville et des Yvelines-CDN. Johanny Bert’s theater production of Une Epopée premiered at Bateau Feu, Scène nationale de Dunkerque in October 2020.
Magali Mougel is a playwright and drama teacher.
She currently teaches at the ENSATT/National School in Lyon (France) where she was a student between 2008 and 2011. Her works have been shown on stage by Jean Pierre Baro, Anne Bisang, Philippe Delaigue, Eloi Recoing, among others. Since 2011, she has written numerous works, many specially commissioned, for specific theater companies and directors. Her works include Elle pas princesse, Lui pas héros for Johanny Bert (National Dramatical Center of Montluçon), Poudre Noire for Simon Delattre (Rodeo Theatre), and Je ne veux plus and La Nuit où le jour s’est levé for Olivier Letellier (Theatre du Phare/National Theater of Chaillot). Her writings: Erwin Motor, Devotion (finalist of the Grand Prize of Drama Literature in 2013), Guerillères ordinaires, Suzy Storck (finalist of the Grand Prize of Drama Literature in 2013), and Penthy sur la Bande, The Lulu Projekt are published by the Editions Espaces 34. Her Young Audience plays, Elle pas princesse, Lui pas héros, We just wanted you to love us, and very recently Frissons are published by the Editions Actes Sud – Heyoka Jeunesse. Many of her plays have been translated into English, German, Italian, and Spanish. Member of the Artistic Ensemble of the Theatre de Sartrouville – CDN, Magali Mougel is an Associate artist at the Scènes du Jura and at Culture Commune – Scène nationale du Bassin minier du Pas-de-Calais.