About Fransesca Quartey

Life story

 

Fransesca Quartey was born in Gothenburg in 1964 the daughter of a Swedish mother and a Ghanaian father.
During the years 1986-1987 she was a student at the Gothenburg Theatre and Opera School. After graduation she came to work at the prestigious Unga Klara Company in Stockholm under artistic direction of Suzanne Osten. She was part of the group for four years.

During that time she also played the lead role in Suzanne Ostens film Just You & I, and wrote and starred in the children's program Victoria & Justus two years in a row.

In 1994 she worked at the Royal Dramatic Theatre and played the lead role in A Dream Play directed by Robert Lepage. One of 1994's most talked about performances.

In spring of 1995 she initiated a show called Hot ´n Tot at Berns, by Pernilla Glaser. The show, a dinner show, about being black and Swedish in the 1970ies , became a critically acclaimed box office success. Other participants were Blossom Tainton-Lindkvist, Vivian Cardinal and Gladys del Pilar.

The following year she made an entertainment series for television - Washing TV which was nominated at the television festival in Montreux, Schwitzerland.

As a freelance actress, she played Eliza in Pygmalion, directed by Dag Norgård at Blekinge-Kronoberg Regional Theatre, and participated in 1997 years annual Christmas calendar, the successful Pelle Svanslös.

Continued cooperation with Pernilla Glaser resulted in a one-woman show Don´t Panic!,  a musical show, directed by Bente Danielsson.

In 1998, Fransesca Quartey left for Los Angeles to attend a certificate program at UCLA Extension - "Certificate in Film, Television, Video and New Media", she studied film direction and screenplay writing. In the U.S. she also participated in an American Independent film Devious Beings in the role of a heroin addicted mother. After she completed the certificate program she returned to Sweden in 2000.

In the fall of 2000, she directed her first theatre production, First one is born by Line Knutzon and the following year she received a job offer at the Helsingborg City Theatre to do Scherezade in Arabian Nights. It was also in Helsingborg that she made her official directorial debut in 2002 with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. One of the theatres biggest successes.

The following year she directed The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren again at Helsinborg City Theatre and then No ear has seen by John Bernander at Blekinge-Kronoberg Regionteater.

In 2005 she travelled to a children's theatre conference in Stuttgart and was subsequently invited by JES (Junges Ensemble Stuttgart) to direct Der Dschungelschrank / The Jungle Closet , a newly written piece for 3-5 year olds. The play was kept on JES repertoire for two years. That same year she also directed Earth Boy by Gunilla Boethius at Helsingborgs Citys Theatre.

During this time, she applied to a leadership program initiated by the Swedish Theatre Union and the Swedish Performing Arts Organisation  - "Leadership Training and Mentoring Program for Women in Performing Arts". Out of 180 women who applied, 12 were selected and took part in a one year program. The aim was to increase the number of female theatre managers in the performing arts. The program ended in 2006 and has resulted in an increased number female heads of theatres throughout the country.

In 2007, she directed a comedy The Midsummer Quartet by Christina Herrström at SMOT as well as a newly written contemporary musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Helsingborg City Theatre. The performance inaugurated the newly refurbished theatres main stage and was performed by an ensemble of 28 people.

In the summer of 2008, she returned to the stage in the role of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, directed by Martha Vestin a summer stock production at Krapperup.

Year 2010 was a busy year. It began with the premiere of African Cinderella by Efo Kodjo Mawugbe, a cooperation project between The Swedish National Touring Company, The Swedish Institute and The Ghana National Theatre in Accra on 6 March. Then she did What's up Sapmi! at Giron Sami Teahter, a play by Erik Nordberg based on true stories, about the Sami identity amongst young Sami. And then she re-translated and directed  One for the road by Willy Russell for  the Västernorrland Theatre in Sundsvall.

All three pieces are still touring 2011 and have become major public successes. To date, African Cinderella has been seen by 35,000 children in Ghana.

 


 

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