Director of L'Avant-Scène, Senior Lecturer
029B East Pyne
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Florent Masse is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and the Director of L’Avant-Scène, the French Theater Workshop. Since 2012, he has served as Artistic Director of Seuls en Scène, Princeton French Theater Festival that he has produced annually in partnership with the Lewis Center for the Arts. He earned a master’s degree in American Literature and Civilization at the University of Lille and trained as an actor and director at Lille National Theater with Daniel Mesguich. Later he pursued his theater studies at Amherst College, MA as a Levy-Despas Fellow and teaching assistant in the Department of French (1999-2001). This is when he created the program of L’Avant-Scène, which originally mixes linguistic and dramatic training. At Princeton since 2001, he has developed and enriched L’Avant-Scène’s curricular and co-curricular programs. He has directed more than sixty full-length productions of popular and celebrated plays in the French theatrical canon, including plays by Feydeau, Molière, Racine, Corneille, Claudel, Marivaux, Musset, Ionesco, Lagarce, Koltès and Pommerat. He has initiated several enrichment programs abroad for his students and has brought to Princeton a list of prominent French theater artists to perform, direct master classes or teach for a semester. In January 2017, he was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay for his attachment to French culture and his action in favor of its promotion in the United States.
This academic year, Florent Masse will direct Le Pays lointain by Jean-Luc Lagarce, Le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais, & Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière. In the early fall of 2019, Florent Masse will produce the eighth annual edition of Seuls en Scène, Princeton French Theater Festival in partnership with the Lewis Center for the Arts. Highlights will include US premieres of works by Julien Gosselin, Aurélie Charon, Stanislas Nordey, Caroline Gillet, Amélie Bonnin, Emmanuelle Lafon, and François de Brauer. In the fall of 2019, he will host French actor and director Clément Hervieu-Léger as a Short-Term Belknap Visiting Fellow in the Council of the Humanities and French and Italian. Clément Hervieu-Léger will lecture on his work, present a screen version of his Le Misanthrope and work with L’Avant-Scène students as well as students enrolled in FRE-THR 211 & FRE-THR 389. In the spring of 2020, Florent Masse will be on leave exploring contemporary theater festivals around the globe