PARIS — It was hailed as France’s first “Instagram play.” In Marion Siéfert’s “_jeanne_dark_,” a 16-year-old character, Jeanne, goes live on the app to tell the world about her private frustrations — and as she films herself with a smartphone onstage, Instagram users can watch, too, and weigh in.
Yet in early 2021, a few months into the production’s run, Instagram started cutting off these live streams, citing “nudity or sexual acts.” Then the account tied to the play disappeared from the platform’s search results. For months, Siéfert and her team scrambled to understand why their work — which will have its New York premiere on Sept. 14, as part of the French Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing the Line Festival — was being repeatedly targeted.
“People thought what we were doing was great, the future of creation,” Siéfert said in Paris earlier this month. “But for me, it’s been more like a nightmare.”