Sunday, February 10, 2013

Standing Room Only

Success !

Our 9th French Night was one not to be missed

We really enjoyed the 4 actors' performance of Leonore Confino's play.
Marie-Hélène Brabant
Nathalie Bryant
Daniel Madoff
Alexandre Oppecini*

The play was written in 2009 by Leonore Confino. It received the  "Grand Prix du Théâtre 2011" in France  and was staged by Catherine Schaub in Paris in 2011 and 2012.  It will be shown at the Avignon Theater Festival this July.

* see at the end Biographies and a link to a radio show about Alexandre Oppecini

As usual, we waited a little to allow people to come from all the boroughs.
It was an occasion to welcome our  faithful visitors and new comers alike.

Waiting for friends to show up and for the reading to start,

reading the program, 

enjoying a glass of wine,

sampling Cornelia's food as well,

or just having a chat.

It's getting more and more crowded

and more conversations go on

others are reading.

It's a full house

even in the back, by the stairs

and at the bar

Standing Room Only!

The faithful

and some new friends too,  but not the least

We even had a friend's daughter and her doll !

Let's get started
Building is actually a play about a visit to a company. Each scene is located at one floor and gives a vision of the absurd and stressful modern conditions of work and the workers

First, Alexandre Oppecini, the CEO of Consulting Consultants, gives a very optimisic speech to his
"Chers actionnaires"

"Dear Shareholders"

"Nos objectifs pour cette future année sont ambitieux mais accessibles si nous maintenons nos chevaux de bataille : innover tout en préservant nos acquis, s’ouvrir à l’extérieur sans ne rien céder de notre identité, s’orienter vers le futur en consolidant nos valeurs et nos traditions management, prendre le risque d’être prudents. "

As he onlys speaks French, Daniel Madoff, his interpreter, translates into English
"Therefore our goals for this new year are ambitious but attainable, if we stay focused on our battles, and innovate while preserving our knowledge, open up to the world without losing our identity, look at the future while reinforcing our values and management traditions, and take the risk of being cautious."

Then, on THE UNDERGROUND LEVEL, Marie-Hélène Brabant, the head receptionnist, briefs the new receptionnist, Nathalie Byrant, alias Candice, ...
and gives her another name, Angelina, more appropriate for a receptionnist...

and explains that she must absolutely AVOID talking about herself.

In THE LOBBY, the housekeeping staff wonders why one guy is waiting in front of the building for an hour and a half
Is he waiting for some one ?

He is a very lazy and rude guy who is making fun of real workers by standing there without any reason

 A suicide bomber ?

At THE THIRD FLOOR, the marketing manager leads a brainstorming exercise
"Rugby ?"
... deodorant/showers"

"I said SPORTS !"

"Goals !"

In THE CAFETERIA, Lucy is upset, 

very upset !

 She tells Miss Bowels and Peter,
"the changes a person, who she won't name, did to her paper without asking"

She continues complaining when Jeff joins them, 

" this person replaced client with patient and above else, she thought it would look better to use bar plots instead of pie charts."

 Funny play, isn't it ?

It is time now for a little experiment.
It is lead in M. STEEL'S OFFICE by M. Steel himself :
the goal is to avoid tears in front of colleagues, to control emotions.
The best way to do it is to adopt a little strategy, like a pleasant thought, 
and stick to it
while your colleagues say, in front of you, the most nasty things
Miss Bowels agrees to be the guinea pig
She must keep smiling
while being insulted :
"She doesn’t know how to handle her saliva. She drools often.
She speaks through her nose.
She has an unsual smell.
It’s true that her breath is…strong.
It smells like fish…
A dirty dog…
Maybe because her nose is often clogged…
She eats spicy
Maybe she’s not educated enough."

and she did ! she kept smiling !
But she had a trick !
She used ear plugs to avoid hearing the terrible things they said !

and welcome to Consulting Consultants
Here is Miss Agopian, the Human Resources Director, 
recruting someone, 
M. Sabian
He has to sign a paper first
acknowledging she didnt't harass him during the interview !

Of course not !

At THE TOP FLOOR, in Lucy's office,
things are going from bad
to worse
as a pigeon hits the window. 
Lucy freaks out,
  the pigeon dies,

Lucy looses it completely !
and collapses

 "Chers actionnaires/Dear Shareholders"`
Aussi, nos objectifs pour cette future année sont inexistants mais accessibles.
Therefore our goals for this new year are non-existent but attainable.
Go up while moving down
Avancer tout en reculant
Smile to the world without losing our depression.
Sourire sans ne rien céder de notre dépression
Die while keeping our basic motor skills.
Mourir en conservant nos fonctions motrices élémentaires.
Ainsi, chers actionnaires, je vous invite à nous renouveler votre confiance : Consulting sommeil a de beaux jours devant lui, puisqu’il faut se rendre à la potence : les oreillers auront toujours besoin de sommeil.

…Pïllows will always need sleepers.

 That's all folks
See you next time

In April, on the 17 th 

It will then be our 10th French night.


If you want to listen to a French radio show dedicated to Alexandre Oppecini in which you can see and hear a few excerpts of the reading,  go to

Alexandre Oppecinin is a French actor and director and writer. As an actor he was in Paroles d’Etoiles at the Vingtieme Theatre and La Cuisine d’Elvis at Theatre Cote Court. As a director he did Microfictions by Régis Jauffret, for the Clavel Theater, The Bear and The Proposal by Anton Chekhov at the Akteon Theate in Paris. As a writer, his first screenplay Sur Tes Traces was selected by Roland NGuyen, head of France Television shorts, to participate in "Les Nuits Mediterraneennes" 2011. In January 2012, after co-creating La Compagnie Spirale, he wrote, and directed Romeo et Juliette : La rencontre (Romeo & Juliet : An encounter) and L’enseigneur (The God Teacher). L’Enseigneur has recently been selected by the Festival E Teatrale 2013 in France

Born in Picardie (North of France), Marie-Helene Brabant moved to NY 15 years ago. Since 2006, she directed more than forty “30 minutes shows” with French speakers and French learning students at the FIAF and LFNY. Performer’s credits: Ceci est mon journal (H.Berr) C.G Kessous / The continuing adventures of out of nothing (creation) P.Bradshaw / Sous Contrôle (Sontag) F.Yvelin / Exercices de Style (Queneau) F.Yvelin / Next to the Last Poem and Disquietude (F.Pessoa) +  La môme Bijou P.Bradshaw / UFO in K (Murakami) A.Kiraly / The Tortoise & The Hare and Androcles and the Lion (Oesope) M.Schoevaert / Rules of good manners (Lagarce) M.Schoevaert / Le Mariage de Figaro (Beaumarchais) M.Schoevaert / Je me tiens devant toi, nue / I stand before you naked (JC.Oates) R.Cordier / La veuve espagnole (Cocteau) J.F.Calas.

French and American actress Nathalie Bryant moved to NY in 2007. She started translating in 2008 when she was asked to adapt Richard Zajdlic’s play Dogs Barking for the Arts & Actions Company. She then collaborated with Alexandre Oppecini on the translation of Charles Mee’s Night and Day, and assisted Ann Warren in translating into English the French play Folie Pure by Sylvaine Hinglais. NY stage credits include Suzy in Hot L Baltimore and Natasha in Three Sisters. (Dir. A. Wright). Koukou in Folie Pure (Dir. E. Dyl) for the Dream Up festival at TNC, Estelle in Huis-Clos (Dir. Roxane Revon/Wired Arts Festival). She was in several indie films: Hamartia (L. Gasparotto), Miscommunications (M. Stevens), When Death Calls (J. Haggerty), and in I as in Island, French and American feature by Estelle Artus.

Daniel Madoff spent his early adulthood years dancing for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company up until its closure in 2011. Before that, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. While he is not teaching or setting works, Daniel splits his time between New York and Paris choreographing, filming and editing a documentary on the process of collaboration while creating a dance.

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