Director of L'Avant-Scène, Senior Lecturer
029B East Pyne
Florent Masse is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of French and Italian and Director of L’Avant-Scène, the French Theater Workshop at Princeton University. He is the Artistic Director of Seuls en Scène, Princeton French Theater Festival that he has curated annually since its creation in 2012. Alongside his studies at the University of Lille, he trained as an actor and director at Lille National Theater under Daniel Mesguich and later 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, Florent Masse has been able to develop and enrich L’Avant-Scène’s curricular and co-curricular programs. He has directed about fifty 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 collaborated to Princeton University Center for French Studies, and has lectured on the program of L’Avant-Scène at various institutions. He has initiated several theater enrichment programs for his students abroad, and has brought to Princeton a list of prominent French theater artists to perform or direct master classes such as Guillaume Gallienne, Pascal Rambert, Pierre Niney, Sandy Ouvrier, Loic Corbery, Daniel Mesguich, Clément Hervieu-Léger, Olivier Py, Denis Guénoun, Lukas Hemleb, Judith Henry, Nicolas Bouchaud, Arthur Nauzyciel, Audrey Bonnet, Anne Alvaro, Guillaume Vincent, Xavier Gallais, Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Stanislas Roquette, Tiago Rodrigues, Rodolphe Dana, Elise Vigier, Mohamed El Kathib, and Benjamin Lazar. 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 Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière, Un fil à la patte by Feydeau, Médée by Corneille, and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, L'Avant-Scène's first musical comedy. In the early fall of 2017, Florent Masse will produce the sixth annual edition of Seuls en Scène, Princeton French Theater Festival in partnership with the Lewis Center for the Arts. In the spring of 2018, Masse will co-teach FRE 311-THR 312 with French actor and director Guillaume Gallienne who will be a Visiting Lecturer in the Humanities Council and Belknap Fellow in French and Italian, and co-direct the Italian Theater Workshop, as well as a new workshop on Acting Chekhov with Guillaume Gallienne. In addition to traveling to Paris for the fifteenth annual L'Avant-Scène in Paris program, the troupe will travel to Tokyo for L'Avant-Scène in Tokyo Program in partnership with the Council of the Humanities. A new master class series will bring to campus Marie Vialle, Bernard Faivre d'Arcier, Jeanne Balibar, Jean-François Peyret, Compagnie Louis Brouilard-Joël Pommerat, Sandy Ouvrier, Maëlle Poésy, Kevin Keiss, Victor Lenoble and Joël Maillard.