The Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival returns to Princeton on Thursday, September 19, and continues through Saturday, September 28.
Now in its eighth year, the festival — whose name translates as “Alone on Stage” — is presented by Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, department of French and Italian, and the university L’Avant Scene French theater program.
The annual free event is produced by Princeton University faculty member and L’Avant Scene coordinator Florent Masse and features established and emerging contemporary French actors, directors, and writers.
The festival opens with “Desordre du discours” (The Disorder of Discourse), French actor and choreographer Fanny de Cahille’s performed re-enactment of influential 20th-century French philosopher and social historian Michel Foucault’s 1970 inaugural lecture at the College de France. It will be performed in French (with English subtitles) at Princeton University’s McCosh 10 on Thursday, September 19, at 8 p.m., and Friday, September 20, at 6 p.m.
“Le marteau et la faucille” (The Hammer and the Sickle) is director Julien Gosselin’s stage interpretation of a story by American writer Don DeLillo. Designed to “examine a dystopian world of high finance and violence in our societies,” the work will be performed in the Lewis Art Complex’s Wallace Theater on Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21m at 8 p.m.
Director Gosselin will join in a public conversation in French with writer and director Pascal Rambert and author, journalist, and former director of French culture Laure Adler at the Lewis Arts Complex, Saturday, September 21, at 11 a.m.
“Qui a tue mon pere” (Who Killed my Father) is French novelist Edouard Louis’s play using an injured factory worker to create a political critique of the violence perpetrated against the working class. Created in collaboration with French director and performer Stanislas Nordey, it will be presented in French with English subtitles at the Matthews Acting Studio, 185 Nassau Street, on Saturday, September 21, at 2 p.m.
“Avignon a vie” (Avignon for Ever) is Rambert’s “love letter” to the annual Avignon Theater Festival and its ability to depict the beauty and pain of the human condition. The festival also serves as partner or a source of productions for Seuls en Scene. Nordey performs the work in French at the Hearst Dance Theater at the Lewis Arts Complex, Sunday, September 22, at 5 p.m.
“blablabla,” director Emmanuelle Lafon and composer Joris Lacoste’s children’s version of their production “Encyclopedie de la parole” (Encyclopedia of Speech), is an evolving project begun in 20017 and, says its creators, “explores the spoken word in all its forms.” It will be performed in French at the Wallace Theater Lewis Arts Complex on Wednesday, September 25, at 4 and 8 p.m.
“La loi des prodigies” (The Prodigies’ Law) features actor Francois De Brauer in a one-man show where he uses minimal props and costumes to tell the life story of a man who develops a hatred of art and artists. It will be performed in French at the Matthews Acting Studio at 185 Nassau Street on Thursday and Friday, September 26 and 27, at 8 p.m.
And “Radio Live” concludes the festival with radio journalists and producers Aurelie Charon and Caroline Gillet and illustrator Amelie Bonnin’s live stage program that involves music, real-life exchanges with a Bosnian war survivor, a former member of India’s “untouchable” social caste, and Princeton students. The event is presented in English at the Wallace Theater in the Lewis Arts Complex on Saturday, September 28, at 2 and 8 p.m.
Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival. Thursday, September 19 through Saturday, September 28. Tickets to all events are free but must be reserved in advance, either online at tickets.princeton.edu, in person at the box offices at Frist Campus Center and the Lewis Arts complex, or by calling 609-258-9220. For more information: arts.princeton.edu/events