In Montgomery, Alabama, on the 2:30 p.m. bus on March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give her seat to a white passenger. Despite threats, she remained seated. Thrown in jail, she decides to plead not guilty and to sue the city. None before her had dared to do this.

Based on Tania de Montaigne’s eponymous novel, Noire (Dark) is the story of this heroine, still living but largely forgotten. Noire is also a portrait of this legendary city, where Martin Luther King, a 26-year-old pastor, and Rosa Parks, an unknown 40-year-old seamstress, crossed paths. Noire is the story of a fight that still goes on against racist violence and injustice.

Join the Event

The screening of this filmed performance is free and open to Princeton students, faculty and staff. Advance registration is required.

Register for Noire

COVID-19 Guidance + Updates

Per Princeton University policy, all audiences attending indoor events are required to be fully vaccinated and to wear a mask. Visitors may attend outdoor events and are not required by current University policy to attest to COVID-19 vaccination or wear a face covering.


The filmed performance is in French with English subtitles. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Attendees in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at least two weeks in advance at






History Refocused: This 15-year-old was the original Rosa Parks” |  CNN, February 18, 2021

Noire official website | 984 Productions

Short Reviews (in French)

Le Parisien
“On est suspendu à sa parole
Un spectacle formidablement prenant que la romancière porte elle-même, montant sur le plateau pour la première fois.”

“Ce n’est pas du théâtre, c’est mieux
L’histoire n’a pas retenu son nom ? Tania de Montaigne fait d’elle l’héroïne d’un spectacle. Ce n’est pas du théâtre, c’est mieux : un témoignage revenu du passé et qui donne vie aux invisibles.”


Based on the novel Noire – La Vie méconnue de Claudette Colvin by Tania de Montaigne
Adaptation and Direction — Stéphane Foenkinos
With Tania de Montaigne
Assistant Director — Joseph Truflandier
Set Design — Laurence Fontaine
Lighting Design — Claire Choffel-Picelli
Video — Pierre-Alain Giraud
Additional Voices — Lola Prince, Stéphane Foenkinos
Administration — 984 Productions

Production 984 Productions – Florence D’azémar – Arnaud Bertrand, coréalisation Théâtre du Rond-Point, Coproduction et accueil en résidence EPCC centre dramatique national de Normandie-Rouen, texte publié aux éditions Grasset (collection Nos héroïnes)


The French Theater Festival is sponsored by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, L’Avant-Scène, Department of French and Italian, Humanities Council, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Study (PIIRS), Department of Art and Archaeology, Department of Comparative Literature, Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, Center for French Studies, and Rockefeller College. International sponsors include Festival d’Automne in Paris, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Education Department of the French Embassy, Institut français, and the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation.

Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Department of French and Italian
  • L’Avant-Scène