Penda Diouf © Penda Diouf

Penda Diouf (F)

is an author, playwright, actress and librettist, born in France. Her very first play POUSSIÈRES was presented by the Comédie-Française in 2010.

Her plays have been translated into German, English, Armenian, Czech and Finnish. She has received various awards for her plays in France and Germany, and has held residencies at the Royal Court in London, the Institut Français in Tunis, the Villa Albertine in New York and the Théâtre National in Strasbourg. Penda Diouf’s work deals with questions of identity, invisible histories, and ecological issues. Together with Anthony Thibault, she is also co-founder of the Jeunes textes en liberté label (www.jeunestextesenliberté.fr), Penda Diouf lives in Lille.


2023 – SACD Prize for Upcoming Talents
2022 – Prix Collidram for LA GRANDE OURSE
2022 – German Audioplay of the Year for PISTEN…

In speaking of these deep, lingering wounds that colonialism and racism have inflicted, and how she speaks of them, Diouf does the only thing that can perhaps help, at least a little, to heal trauma: She brings them out of the repressed, the concealed, the forgotten into our consciousness, and she does it in such a poetic and empathetic way that when we listen to her, even white people, descendants of the European colonial powers, are deeply touched and moved to reflect on the causes of these wounds and to relate to them.“ – Jury’s statement (originally in German)

Works (selection)

A GULP OF WATER [Gorgée d'eau]              


The water has become scarce and the birds fall dead from the sky. Something horrible has occurred in the high school and the school walls burst consuming the gossip. The Mother adores her bonsai and the Daughter keeps her secret. They have already been displaced and unrooted, so once the rain is finally pouring over the terrain, Mother and Daughter have to decide to leave or stay. 




First performed on the 29th November 2019 at Théâtre Jean-Vilar de Vitry-sur-Seine

Produced by Théâtre Acclamations, in coproduction with Théâtre Jean Vilar de Vitry-sur-Seine ; MC93 – Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny) ; La Comédie de Valence, centre dramatique national Drôme-Ardèche ; Les Récréâtrales (Ouagadougou)
Coréalisation MC93 – Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny) ; and Festival d’Automne à Paris
With the support of Coopération Suisse in Burkina Faso