Seuls en Scène 2018

Seuls en Scène brings celebrated French actors and directors, as well as promising early-career artists, to Princeton University and the local community to present their work, introducing American audiences to dynamic and engaging French productions. Learn more below about the exciting productions in the 2018 season.

The 2018 French Theater Festival is sponsored by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, L’Avant-Scène, Department of French and Italian, Department of African-American Studies, Humanities Council, PIIRS, Program in African Studies, Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, and Rockefeller College. Other sponsors include Jeune Théâtre National, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Education Department of the French Embassy, Institut français, and the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation.


FRI SEP 21 · 8:00 pm & SUN SEP 23, 2018 · 8:00 pm | CLASS OF 1970 THEATER, WHITMAN COLLEGE | DURATION: 90 MIN

Harlem Quartet

Image for HarlemHall Montana remembers, recounts and retraces the life of his family and friends, who are part of Harlem’s African-American community in the 1950s and 1960s. Baldwin’s sensual writing style is punctuated by poignant gospel lyrics that take audiences to the heart of Harlem, a world of love, religious fervor and suffering.

Harlem Quartet is a story on human destiny based on the novel Just Above My Head by James Baldwin. Adapted and directed by Élise Vigier in collaboration with Kevin Keiss, with original music by Saul Williams. This critically acclaimed show from the 2017-18 French theatrical season stands out with a rare all-black cast, unusual for a production in France. 

*Ticket Information (Performed in French with English subtitles)


FRI SEP 21, 2018 · 9:00 pm & SUN SEP 23, 2018 · 6:00 pm | CLASS OF 1970 THEATER, WHITMAN COLLEGE | DURATION: 90 MIN

Portrait de Ludmilla en Nina Simone

Photo for LudmillaNina Simone, one of the formidable artistic figures of the civil rights movement, was born to a poor black family in Northern Carolina and had dreams of becoming a great classical pianist. Citing racism as the barrier to realizing this dream, she instead became a singer earning the moniker “High Priestess of Soul.”

In conjunction with the production Harlem Quartet, the National Dramatic Center Comédie de Caen asked playwright and musician David Lescot to stage a portrait of the American singer. In the form of a documentary with interviews, this intimate musical portrait showcases Lescot’s desire to create a whimsical form of exchange. He plays guitar accompanying Ludmilla Dabo on stage, an actress with a lifelong affinity for the jazz of Nina Simone.

*Ticket Information (Performed in French with English subtitles)


SAT SEP 22, 2018 · 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm | WALLACE THEATER, LEWIS ARTS COMPLEX | DURATION: 105 MIN

Claire, Anton et eux 

Photo of Claire, Anton et euxFrançois Cervantes asked the fourteen young actors of the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique to write dramatic texts based on their personal history. Summoning their ancestors and countless family memories, whether from the 16th or the 20th century, their past is brought to life on the stage, shedding light on and enriching the present. “The job of the actor is to offer hospitality,” the director likes to say, defending the necessity and the responsibility of his trade: to always give stories the place that is rightfully theirs, to fulfill that urgent need we have to talk to one another.

Claire, Anton et eux (Claire, Anton, and them) is the mischievous title Cervantes gave to this initiatory play, which is also an homage to a school whose role is to teach, to understand, to welcome, and to foster and encourage new work. A nod to Chekhov, who was also a doctor…

*Ticket Information (Performed in French with English subtitles)


MON SEP 24, 2018 · 7:00 pm | HEARST DANCE THEATER, LEWIS CENTER ARTS COMPLEX | DURATION: 60 MIN

Dough
David Lescot

Image for DoughThe stage reading of Dough is made possible thanks to the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and FACE Foundation.

Dough, presented in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, is a choral text with a frantic and hectic rhythm, which addresses our relationship with money, and crosses different stages of life, from early childhood to adulthood. The piece directly reaches young people and is well suited for family audiences. In the theater field, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy aims to highlight the work of French playwrights – both in French and English translation – for a broad American audience. In recent years, greater attention has been devoted to developing productions of plays translated to English with an American cast. Dough is part of this momentum.

*Ticket Information (Staged Reading in English)


TUE SEP 25 - WED SEP 26, 2018 · 8:00 pm | DRAPKIN STUDIO, LEWIS ARTS COMPLEX | DURATION: 40 MIN

Gonzo Conférence
Fanny de Chaillé

Image for Gonzo ConférenceIn this unique presentation that demonstrates what happens when text is separated from music, de Chaillé stands offstage and speaks of her lifelong love for rock music while spectators focus on Christine Bombal, who embodies de Chaillé's words onstage. At the end of the simple and precise demonstration, the disturbing conviction emerges that between rock music and theater, theater, is perhaps the more wild and free medium.

From a young age, Fanny de Chaillé has been a fan of rock music. In this unique presentation that demonstrates what happens when text is separated from music, de Chaillé stands offstage and speaks of her lifelong love for rock music while spectators focus on Christine Bombal, who embodies de Chaillé’s words onstage. At the end of the simple and precise demonstration, the disturbing conviction emerges that between rock music and theater, the theater is perhaps the more wild and free medium.

After studying aesthetics at the Sorbonne, de Chaillé worked with Daniel Larrieu at the Centre chorégraphique national in Tours as well as with Alain Buffard, Matthieu Doze, and Rachid Ouramdane and performed under the direction of Gwenaël Morin. She regularly participates in projects with visual artists Thomas Hirschhorn and Pierre Huyghe. She also creates her own installations and performances.

Ticket Information (Performed in French with voiceover in English)


FRI SEP 28 - SAT SEP 29, 2018 · 8:00 pm | MATHEWS ACTING STUDIO, 185 NASSAU ST | DURATION: 75 MIN

Doreen

Image for DoreenDoreen is an adaptation, a sort of theft, an attempt between reality and fiction, of the couples' life and the beloved woman who we never got to know and who will die with him.

In 2006, philosopher and journalist André Gorz, published “Letter to D.”, a confession to his wife Doreen Keir, when she was diagnosed with an incurable disease. In this publication, he tells their love story and relives their shared life of 58 years. A year later both André and Doreen were found dead in their bed.

This play is a counterpoint to Gorz’ confession that was made public. Transported to an evening in 2007 in the couple’s home the hour before they will commit suicide, we hear the story from her point of view. Doreen is an adaptation, a sort of theft, an attempt between reality and fiction, of the couple’s life and the beloved woman who we never got to know and who will die with him.

*Ticket Information (Performance in French)