Ceremonies in New York and Princeton honor Florent Masse this fall

Nov. 21, 2017

Award ceremony

Last October, Florent Masse was honored with La Médaille d’Or du Rayonnement Culturel and the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters at ceremonies hosted at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

La Médaille d’Or du Rayonnement Culturel awarded by La Renaissance Française recognizes persons who have rendered distinguished service in the following fields: French language, literature, fine arts, science and technology, artisans, promotion and visibility of the French patrimony (including traditions and artistic heritage).

La Renaissance Française – USA, the American Delegation of La Renaissance Française, founded in Paris in 1916, aims to recognize persons who have raised awareness of the French language and francophone cultures among people living in the United States.

The ceremony, presided over by Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy Bénédicte de Montlaur and President of Renaissance Française Delegation in the United States, Bernard Duhaime, took place on October 2, 2017.

On October 17, 2017, Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur bestowed the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters upon Masse for his dedication to the cultural expansion of France in the United States.

The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established by the French government in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.

Alumni and friends of L’Avant-Scène, fellow Princeton colleagues, and deans, members of New York French cultural organizations joined in the ceremony honoring Masse and CUNY Professor, Mary Ann Caws, who also received the Order of Arts and Letters that evening.

Here are excerpts from Cultural Counselor Bénédicte de Montlaur’s remarks:

“You have worked tirelessly at the crossroads of the French language and theater, and your career has been marked by a passionate love of teaching. You have taught theater, and you have taught French, but most remarkably, you have taught theater in French, in the United States. Weaving these two cultures together has been described as your “trademark.” Through your efforts, your students have become masters not only of performing, but of a new language, and you have greatly benefited the Princeton community by bringing in so many luminaries of French theater.”

“As a teacher, you push your students to excel not only as actors, but as language-learners. As a director, you gift the community with your beautiful and memorable productions. As a cultural leader, you work to foster French-American intellectual exchange through theater. For these reasons, it is my great pleasure to present you with the Order of Arts and Letters.”

On December 11, a ceremony sponsored by the European Union Program, the Department of French and Italian, the Lewis Center for the Arts and Rockefeller College will take place on campus to honor Masse in the presence of the Consul General of France in New York Anne-Claire Legendre.

Florent Masse, senior lecturer in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton, has contributed hugely to the cultural expansion of French theater in the United States. He curates and directs Princeton’s French theater festival, Seuls en Scène, which brings celebrated French actors and directors to the local community. He also founded and currently directs Princeton’s French theater workshop, L’Avant Scène, helping students improve their language skills in French through theater.