The French Play: Exploring Theatre "Re-Creatively" with Foreign Language Students

By Les Essif | Go to book overview

APPENDIX F:
SAMPLE EXCERPTS AND MATERIALS
FROM REWRITTEN PLAYS

Needless to say, no version of a dramatic text is ever final; nor is it ever a complete record of the performance it proposes. At best, it is like the blueprint of a custom-built house: like the architect, the reader of the text can merely imagine the finished project, and given the re-creative freedom built into our projects, our mounting of the rewritten play will entail still further modifications great and small, extending the text's creative principle.

Originally, I considered including our complete rewritten text for “Père Ubu” in this book, but I changed my mind, and not only because of the sheer verbal “weight” this text would add. I've already made clear that the text my students and I create is only a rather preliminary version – a very rough blueprint – of the resulting performance. So the rewritten text might not provide the reader with a satisfactory impression of our final product. Furthermore, instead of providing the reader with a readymade text to produce, I much prefer to entice readers into developing their own personal re-creative approach to a classic text. Readers should have confidence in what their own theatrical community/workshop can produce by working directly with the original text. Consequently, I expect that a good taste of my work and a careful glance at some of my recipes will suffice to demonstrate the artistic potential and critical-instructional merit of the method.

Below, I provide the first and final tableaux for the Ubu 2000 performance, re-creatively and collaboratively titled “Père Ubu: roi de nulle part!,” which has been the project of reference for this book. In addition, I provide samples of our “narrative interventions” that preceded each of the tableaux, titles of the tableaux, the casting chart, and finally for the Ubu project, the names and titles the actors proposed for the acting company we had become and for the play we had designed. Following the materials from “Père Ubu,” I provide the introduction and the conclusion to one other project, the Jeanne d'Arc story (1997).

Materials from both of these projects represent the more or less “final” version of the written documents for each. This will give the reader some idea of the range of creative solutions we proposed to achieve our

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