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Seuls En Scène 2016: Princeton University's French Theater Festival

Princeton University will present the fifth edition of the French Theater Festival Seuls en scène from September 22 to October 6, 2016 in partnership with Princeton University-Lewis Center for the Arts and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. As in previous years, the festival will offer up a diverse and rich season of contemporary French theater.

Seuls en Scène will bring celebrated French actors directors and authors (David Lescot, Pascal Rambert, BM Koltès, Audrey Bonnet and Anne Alvaro...) as well as promising early-career artists (Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Noe Soulier, the team of Jeune Théâtre National), to the university and local community to present their work, introducing American audiences to dynamic and engaging French productions.

The Festival is organized by Florent Masse, Senior Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian, Director of L’Avant-Scène, the French Theater Workshop, and coordinator of Princeton's France Global Seminar on French Theater Today.


Dans la solitude des champs de coton

In an undefined and timeless place, a dealer and her client meet. The two protagonists assess one another before launching into a quarrel of words, full of poetry. The characters, played this time by two women, start a troubling relationship.

Roland Auzet stages and sets to music this famous play by Bernard-Marie Koltès in an all-new version, with a twist: each spectator will be given a set of headphones. Auzet has conceived a musical dramaturgy, or music scenography, for this new version, and introduces us to veteran stage actress Anne Alvaro alongside Audrey Bonnet who returns to the festival for the third time. The play was a resounding success last winter at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, cheered by critics and audiences alike.

LOCATION: Frick Chemistry Building / AtriumDATES & HOURS: September 22 & 23, 8 P.M.DURATION: 75 minutes


Clôture de l’amour

In a large room, a woman and a man are talking. They bring up their separation. Her name is Audrey Bonnet. His is Pascal Rambert. This show was written for them and for no one else. To the question: “Who do we love when we love?” the author and director Pascal Rambert does not provide a pat answer. He circulates through all the possibilities. He does not reject the clichés that those who break up, who rewrite memories and embellish them, use at least once before destroying everything.

Pascal and Audrey have the same weapons but do not use them in the same way. There is the masculine and the feminine. As words multiply and conflict escalates, Pascal Rambert brings us to the very core of their pain.  There are two viewpoints, two silences, two speeches to describe the violence of a dying love.

LOCATION: Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau StreetDATES & HOURS: September 24 at 8 pm & September 25 at 5 pmDURATION: 100 minutes


Finir en Beauté

From interviews, emails, texts, administrative documents and other “real sources,” Mohamed El Khatib (re)constructs a delicate tale of mourning about the death of his mother alone on stage in a touching piece of work that achieves a certain timelessness. Read more about Mohamed El Khatib's and his working process here

LOCATION: Whitman College Class of 1970 TheatreDATES & HOURS: September 28-29 at 8 pmDURATION: 60 minutes


Mon Grand Amour

When Carolne Guiela Nguyen was a child, she asked her grandmother why it was wise not to leave money next to food. Her grandmother would answer, “Because it attracts ghosts. That’s why I heard a little girl who didn’t exist cry for two years, because of my apartment’s neighbor in Saigon.”

Once you step into the site-specific performance area, the TV is turned on. You recognize the voices from the lunchtime hour program. Two women are watching the show. The shower is running; there is maybe a third person, in another room. On a piece of furniture, like a little domestic altar, there is the photograph of a man, framed in golden plastic, bordered by pillars of incense. One of the women often comes closer to this portrait. Seeing her this way, you can only think that it’s her great love who is framed there.

Mon grand amour is the story of a place. A place changed by the life of another place, far away, in Saigon, a city whose name changed, that is no more and that has been displaced.

LOCATION: Site-specific performance – Location TBADATES & HOURS: September 30 at 5, 7, and 10 pm, October 1 at 3, 5, and 7 pmDURATION: 50 minutes


Ceux Qui Restent

April 19, 2013 marked the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, after which it was destroyed. Today in France, there are barely ten individuals still alive who lived in the Warsaw Ghetto. Paul Felenbok and his cousin Wlodka Blit-Robertson are two of these survivors. Their testimony, of two children during the war and then the reconstruction of their lives in post-war Europe, was transmitted through conversations collected by author and director David Lescot. Their memories, through force of circumstance, remain extraordinarily precise and accurate.

Two actors, a man and a woman, one questioning, and the other one answering, one after the other. It will be theatre, because the witnesses’ words will be carried by actors, but a theatre-document, without any rewriting nor artifice, a theatre very close to the testimony.

LOCATION: Matthews Acting Studio / 185 Nassau StreetDATES & HOURS: September 30 – October 1 at 8 pmDURATION: 80 minutes


Paroles de Soldats

Paroles de Soldats reminds us of the enduring effects of war on the French soldiers engaged in international conflicts over the last thirty years in Iraq, Rwanda, Afghanistan and beyond. Five actors from the Jeune Théâtre National lend their voices to these accounts, sharing the fear and anguish these soldiers encountered when faced with brutal combat that left no one unscathed.

LOCATION: Matthews Acting Studio / 185 Nassau StreetDATES & HOURS: October 4 at 8 pmDURATION: 60 minutes


Movement on Movement

In this project, Noé Soulier physically reproduces sequences from Improvisation Technologies, in which William Forsythe presents different tools to generate and analyze movements. By using these tools as dance material, Noé Soulier gives them another status: what was an explanation of a dance becomes the dance itself. These explanatory gestures are associated with a reflection on the way movements are defined in various choreographic practices. Words and gestures interact to create correspondences, frictions and gaps.

LOCATION: Whitman College Class of 1970 TheaterDATES & HOURS: October 5 – 6 at 8 pmDURATION: 60 minutes Supported by the French-American Fund for Contemporary Theater, a program of the FACE Foundation, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

 

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