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Scholastique Mukasonga & Maaza Mengiste ONLINE EVENT Brookline Booksmith and City of Asylum Bookstore

Seuls en Scène, Princeton French Theater Festival 2020

Rémi by Jonathan Capdevielle © Marc Domage

Since 2012, Princeton French Theater Festival Seuls en Scène, curated by Florent Masse  has presented celebrated and emerging French authors, actors, and directors to American and francophone audiences.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 9th edition of the festival, from September 10 to 20, will be online.

It features 12 events that includes recordings of live performances of contemporary works recently presented in France, recorded readings, and conversations with the artistes, live on Zoom, and on the current state of theater in France.

Note that the festival is free and open to the public.

Registration on Eventbrite is necessary for the live conversations with artists on Zoom.

Seuls en Scène French Theater Festival is presented by Lewis Center for the Arts, L’Avant Scène and Department of French and Italian at Princeton University in collaboration with the 49th Edition of Festival d’Automne in Paris.

For more information: arts.princeton.edu/frenchtheater

PROGRAM

  • Watch recordings of live performances: 

Pistes 
Available on-demand September 11, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) through September 14, 2020.
In French with English subtitles
Abstract: Franco-Senegalese playwright and dramaturg Penda Diouf reads her most recent play about resilience that is both intimate and political, Pistes (Tracks). Directed by Aristide Tarnagda, this monologue about the courage to come face-to-face with one’s own demons is also a roadtrip across Namibia, site of the first genocide of the 20th century targeting the Herero and the Nama people.

Fragments Racine
Available on-demand September 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) through September 20, 2020.
In French
Abstract: Exclusively for Seuls en Scène 2020 audiences, French theater artists Sandy Ouvrier, and Astrid Bayiha, will read a few of their favorite tragic scenes by Jean Racine, centered on unrequited love. 

La dispute
Available on-demand September 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) through September 16, 2020.
In French with English subtitles
Abstract: Far from any Marivaux-like literary flourishes, this production brings us words spoken in a direct, unflinching way on the subject of marital dispute and the premonition of the break-up. Given that they are the ones best placed to talk about it – though rarely listened to – writer and director Mohamed El Khatib invited children of parents who have split up to take to the stage and share their points of view, based on interviews conducted over several months with around 100 eight-year-olds from different backgrounds.

Rituels 1, 2, 3 & 4
Available on-demand September 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) through September 19, 2020.
In French with English subtitles
Abstract: Using archival material and documentary inquiry as her starting point, Émilie Rousset’s performative research projects explore theatrical potential in the gap between original documentation and its representation. She has collaborated with filmmaker Louise Hémon on the “Rituels” series, an evolving collection of films and performances which probe the rites of society by drawing upon the respective codes of theater and documentary cinema. Le Grand Débat, performed by Emmanuelle Lafon and Laurent Poitrenaux, recreates a televised debate using a collage of archives from presidential debates taking place between 1974 and 2017 through three short films and a recorded performance with humor an essential component.

Rémi
Available on-demand September 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) through September 20, 2020.
In French with English subtitles
Abstract: In his first production aimed at audiences young and old, Jonathan Capdevielle tackles Hector Malot’s Sans famille, a vibrant classic of French literature. Rémi, the young hero, played by Dimitri Doré, is forced to head off into the unknown in search of a new life, always managing to emerge from adventures of the darkest kind with a mix of optimism and determination. The art of spectacle and a love of music occupy a central place in the figure of Vitalis, the street musician and dog tamer, a role which Capdevielle confers to Babacar M’Baye Fall. The actors Jonathan Drillet and Michèle Gurtner play several roles, using a combination of costumes and masks, including Capi the dog and Joli Coeur the little monkey.

  • Discover a film documenting the unique combination of theater and rap:

Film Documenting the Creative Process Behind Du sale
Available on-demand September 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) through September 13, 2020.
In French with English subtitles
Abstract: French director Marion Siéfert and her artistic partner Matthieu Bareyre offer a very personal insight into the show’s rehearsals with two exceptional performers and their quest for their own personal identity. On stage, rapper Laëtitia Kerfa searches for the truth through her rap lyrics and encounters the figure of Lady Macbeth. Her stage partner, Litefeet dancer Janice Bieleu, opts for stillness and the human body as her own personal means of expression. With her keen instincts and her gift for micro-observations, Siéfert has taken a gamble with her theatrical experiment, but ultimately it pays off handsome dividends.

  • Participate in engaging Zoom conversations in French:

A Conversation on the State of Festivals and Theaters in France with Florent Masse and directors of productions from Festival d’Avignon, Festival d’Automne in Paris, and Comédie-française. 
Available on-demand September 10, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) through September 20, 2020.
Pre-recorded in French

A Conversation with Penda Diouf & Aristide Tarnagda
Sunday, September 13, 2020 - 2 p.m. (EDT)

A Conversation with Marion Siéfert & Matthieu Bareyre
Sunday, September 13, 2020 - 4 p.m. (EDT)

A Conversation with Mohamed El Khatib
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 4:45 p.m. (EDT)

A Conversation with Émilie Rousset & Louise Hémon
Friday, September 18, 2020 - 4:45 p.m. (EDT)

A Conversation with Jonathan Capdevielle
Sunday, September 20, 2020 - 3 p.m. (EDT)


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. Other 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.

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