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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

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'French Theater: Behind the Scenes'


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Princeton students rehearse scenes and talk about the French Theater workshop led by Senior Lecturer Florent Masse. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: I am thrilled by that...

FLORENT MASSE: I am thrilled by that...

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: I am thrilled by that...

FLORENT MASSE [in French]: Open your mouth to
pronounce the 'A'

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: I am thrilled by that...

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: I am thrilled by that...

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: and doubtless it will be
sweet to me, Madame.

FLORENT MASSE [in French]: Yes!

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: But it's a transport of
zeal that seizes me

and a profound affection...

FLORENT MASSE [in French]: A transport.

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: A transport.
FLORENT MASSE [in French]: That's right, a transport.

TOMER YAVETZ [in French]: Transport.

FLORENT MASSE: We were doing a what we call,
what I call a text lab.

Text lab.

So I worked on the pronunciation one on one
on their lines and their scenes.

And this is a great way to really make sure they
improve their pronunciation with a careful

attention to the text.
So there are different types of text labs.

Some are just on the pronunciation and
some are on the...also the meaning of the text.

Sometimes they have a hard time
understanding everything, so we make sure

they understand this way. And
the pronunciation today was only focused on that.

CHRISTINA BOTT: French 211 was without a doubt…
it has been one of my favorite courses at Princeton.

Florent really takes the time to work with
each student individually and you really get to know

the individual works that you are studying.

So, each student performs either two or three
scenes throughout the entire semester and you get to

work with different partners and also examine
not just your particular scene, but the work in general.

CHRISTIAN DAVID MARTIN [in French]: No! You're
not going to take a walk in

your room with a night shirt and
a hat on!

CHRISTINA BOTT [in French]: Yes, okay! First would
you please explain? I'll take my hat off right away.

CHRISTINA BOTT: You learn about the intricacy of language
and just how important pronunciation is.

It is a very different concept than
American theater.

French theater is much more
about the text and a lot less about

what you’re doing with your arms and
all that jazz,

which took a lot for me to learn.

DAYNA LI: Basically, we’re covering all kinds of
French theater from classical to contemporary.

We’re doing Feydeau which is
is something more contemporary,

but there is also Racine which is classical.

OLIVIA NICE: Berenice, Andromaque…
a lot of really really great French plays.

DAYNA LI: I think it’s really cool how we have these
private rehearsals because he is an amazing teacher

and he really is putting a lot of effort into our
diction, which is especially important.

It’s kind of underestimated because it is
acting that we put as our number one priority,

but then obviously if you can’t
understand what we’re saying,

that is a disadvantage. So, he is really
really helpful in diction.

DAYNA LI [in French]: What is that to you?

OLIVIA NICE [in French]: It annoys me,
I still want to

deceive him, but the idea that

he would deceive me, that
is going too far!

DAYNA LI [in French]: You have exquisite
morality.

OLIVIA NICE [in French]: What, you think I'm wrong?

DAYNA LI [in French]: Yes, yes, yes. Only...
all that you are

bringing to light doesn't
prove anything.

OLIVIA NICE [in French]: Really,
I'm not proving anything?

OLIVIA NICE: Something that I really loved
about this class is that I do a lot of theater on campus

and I also study French in the classroom.
And this class really gave me an

opportunity to combine both of them.
And something that was really

really special about this class is
that our professor, Florent Masse,

he brought in a professional actor…
one of his friends from France…

to come meet with us for a week.
We got to rehearse with him and he got

to talk with us about his projects
that he is doing in France.

CHRISTINA BOTT: It’s a great study of the history of
French theater and I loved every second of it.

I took it in my freshman Fall
and it was an amazing course and it was

one of the best ways for me to start off
at Princeton.

And now I am a French major!

FLORENT MASSE [in French]: A!…U!…
STUDENTS [in French]: A!…U!…

FLORENT MASSE [in French]: Five times...A!…U!…
STUDENTS [in French]: A!…U!… (repeated five times)

[MUSIC]

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