Friday, May 04, 2007

Théâtre--sans animaux, but with a lot of success

My play, Théâtre sans animaux, was a big hit! Several of my colleagues commented that it was the funniest and smoothest of the ones I've done so far at Colorado State. (Curious about the others? I also directed a readers' theatre version of the Romancers with an ESL class; La cantatrice chauve [Ionesco's classic Theatre of the Absurd work The Bald Soprano]; Les aventures de Yévi au pays des monstres [an African folk tale adapted into a play, The Adventures of Yévi in the Land of the Monsters, by Togolese author Sénouvo Agbota Zinsou, which we performed with live drumming and dancing, masks, and West African dress--you can see pictures here]; and Le miracle de Saint Antoine [The Miracle of Saint Anthony], a satire by Nobel-prize winning Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck. The latter three were all performed in French! Oh, and I also organized a French cabaret night one summer, with skits, stand-up comedy, and sing-alongs.)

Approximately 230 people came to see Théâtre sans animaux: students and teachers from our department (though not many of the latter, which does not fundamentally come as a surprise), Francophiles from the Fort Collins community, and teachers and students from all over northern Colorado (Wellington, Greeley, Windsor, and Denver, to my knowledge). I like knowing that the play served as good outreach and publicity for the department, that we touched more than just our immediate campus community.

Moreover, the actors and I decided to donate proceeds from the play to the Jocelyne Couturn-Nowak Memorial Scholarship for French majors at Virginia Tech, in memory of Prof. Couturn-Nowak and her students who were killed there the week before we performed the play. After expenses like royalties, printing, and props, it works out to about $250, which may not seem like a lot, considering that the average French Club bake sale brings in that much in a day of selling bagels and brownies, but it does represent the results of a semester's worth of work for me and my thirteen students. Plus, consider that 60+ people were admitted for free (the final dress rehearsal audience, CSU French faculty, and the actors' comp tickets) and that most audience members (students) paid only $2 per ticket!

Despite my anxiety and insomnia and occasional frustrations, I'm glad we did Théâtre sans animaux, and I'm glad that enough people showed up to the performances to make it worthwhile. Thank you to everyone who came to see it or wished me well (or merde, as they say in France for "break a leg")!


  1. Hi Sarah! I read the previous posts .. you've been working hard and Congratulation!! What a wonderful gesture that you guys donated for education.
    Thanks for visiting my journal. Things are getting under control at home and of course you may profile our family.

  2. Santi--Thanks! Just let me know where to send the profile questions.

    Estela--Yep, "merde." Not any worse than "break a leg," no?