Photo by Nora Noor

 The LPTW International Committee is pleased to announce that

has been chosen to receive the

2020 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award

Fluent in English, French and Arabic, Hanane Hajj Ali is a woman who defies conventions, stereotypes and expectations and is a singularly-capable ambassador to represent the breadth and depth of both the evolving identities and realities for Arab women and Arab world theatre. Throughout her 40-year career, she has written, performed and directed acclaimed Arabic-language productions and also facilitated and supported hundreds of colleagues, students and communities in Lebanon and throughout the entire Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Ali’s artistic career started as a founding member of Hakawati/Storytellers Theater in 1978, the Arab world’s pioneering experiment in socially engaged community led theater, where she was an actor and writer until 1992. In 1999, she co-founded Shams Association which bridges the sectarian divides of Lebanese society and brings together young artists from different backgrounds. “Jogging”, her most recent solo piece, is a “partly autobiographical and taboo-breaking performance that tackles the Bermuda triangle of Religion, Sex, and Politics” which has toured throughout the MENA region and Europe. As a teacher and trainer, Hanane has worked with hundreds of young people from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, and leads sessions on theatre practice, leadership, cultural management and cultural policy. Committed to the welfare of the MENA region, Ali remains an activist, cooperating with numerous NGO’s and co-founding three of the Arab region’s most important cultural organizations: Al Mawred’s Culture Resource, Ettijahat and Action for Hope.27 women theatre artists from 18 countries were nominated on the basis of work demonstrating artistic excellence and support of women’s work and issues and that inspires and educates across cultures. Awardee Hanane Hajj Ali was chosen from a group of four finalists that also included: Iman Aoun (Palestine), Mallika Sarabhai (India), and Maya Zbib (Lebanon). Mihaela Drăgan (Romania) will receive a special certificate of achievement.

The other nominees were: Jaspreet Saund (Canada), Beate Seidel (Germany), Avra Sidiropoulou (Greece), Andrea Tompa (Hungary), Kalpana Gagdekar (India), Deirdre Kinahan (Ireland), Edna Mazya (Israel), Burbuqe Berisha (Kosovo), Illire Vinca (Kosovo), Zana Hoxha Krasniqi (Kosovo), Sherry Lara Alingod (Philippines), Jung-Soon Shim (Republic of Korea), Lupe Gehrenbeck (Venezuela), Jill Greenhalgh (Wales), Hope Azeda (Rwanda), Dijana Milosevic (Serbia), Grace Gachocha (Tanzania), Jalila Baccar (Tunisia), Sarah Berger (England), Faynia Williams (England), Katy Lipson (England), and Lucy Kerbel (England)

For more information, or to GET INVOLVED, contact G/C Award co-chairs
Joan D. Firestone at

 to watch a video about the theatrical work of the LPTW’s 2017 Gilder/Coigney International Awards Nominees.

Click here to learn about past recipients and details of the Gilder/Coigney Award


This Award is only possible through the generous support of LPTW members, friends and others interested in promoting the mission and activities associated with the LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award. As a 501(c)3 organization, all gifts and donations to LPTW are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Thank you for your support!