Ubu Repertory Theater


After ten years operating exclusively in a small, second-floor theater in Chelsea, Ubu Repertory Theater has moved into offices to 95 Wall Street and embarked on a series of larger Off-Broadway productions at the French Institute Alliance Française's Florence Gould Hall and La MaMa E.T.C.'s Annex Theater.

It is also officially launching its own UBU Bilingual Company. Since 1995, Ubu Repertory Theater has evolved a bilingual troupe as it presented critically-commended bilingual productions of Jean-Paul Sartre's "Huis Clos/No Exit" (1995) and two plays by Albert Camus, "Le Malentendu/The Misunderstanding" (1997, 1998) and "Les Justes/The Just" (1998). Through these productions, directed by Françoise Kourilsky, an ensemble coalesced of compatible, experienced, multi-lingual artists (many with Broadway credits) who are now hungry for new challenges.

The new company will also feature a design team whose ten-year body of work at Ubu is outstanding among international theater productions in New York.

No longer constrained by its 99-seat theater in 28th Street, Ubu will also expand its focus by accepting invitations to perform abroad, bringing more artists from abroad, and developing more workshops and special programs with schools and universities.

"La Cantatrice chauve/The Bald Soprano" by Eugène Ionesco, directed by Françoise Kourilsky, presented by Ubu Repertory Theater at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street as part of the 1999 UBU@FIAF program. Debut production of the UBU Bilingual Company. With: Isabelle Cyr, Marc Forget, Simon Fortin, Louise-Marie Mennier, Michel Moinot, Geneviève Schartner.

Written by Romanian-born French playwright Eugène Ionesco, "The Bald Soprano," subtitled an "anti-play," follows an evening of fantastically banal conversation between two English couples--interrupted by a feisty maid and a storytelling Fire Chief--to its hilarious conclusion...or lack thereof. Ionesco is by far the most influential writer of the "Theatre of the Absurd."

This production marks the official debut of the UBU Bilingual Company, New York's first ensemble to specialize in performing plays in both French and English with a single cast. Acting in two languages presents an unusual creative challenge to the players, offers a rare viewing opportunity for French-speaking theatergoers and makes it possible for general audiences to savor the plays in their original tongue.

Schedule: Thursday, March 4, 12:00 pm & 8:00 pm, Friday, March 5 at 12:00 pm in French. (runs 55 minutes).
Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6 at 8:00 pm in French and English in a back-to-back double-bill (total running time: two hours with ten-minute intermission between versions).
Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 Seniors, Students, Ubu Rep and French Institute Alliance Française members. Box Office: (212) 355-6160 (Florence Gould Hall), group rates (212) 509-1455 (Ubu Rep).

There will be a reading of selected scenes of "The Bald Soprano" in English by the cast of this production at Barnes and Noble, 33 East 17th Street, 4 fl., on Tuesday, March 2 at 7:00 pm. (free)


At French Institute Alliance Française's Tinker Auditorium, 22 E. 60th Street., as part of the 1999 UBU@FIAF program. Followed by discussions between audience, actors, director, translator and playwright (whenever possible). 8:00 pm. Suggested contribution to FIAF: $10-$5. Info 212/509-1455 (Ubu Rep).

MARCH 15 -- "Les pas perdus" (in French) by Denise Bonal, an Algerian-born prize-winning playwright from France. A humorous work that transports us to a place where destinies collide as strangers cross paths in the chaotic world of a train station.

APRIL 19 --- "Hudson River, A Longing for Exile" by Daniel Besnehard (France) in an English translation by Stephen J. Vogel. The poignant story of a French expatriate in Manhattan whose peace is shattered by a family visit.

MAY 24 – "La Jouissance du Scorpion" by Véronique Olmi (France). A couple's closed world erupts into family civil war when a Senegalese worker knocks at their door during a visit by their daughter.

JUNE 14 – "The Queens" by Normand Chaurette (Quebec) in an English translation by Linda Gaboriau. Six women from the world of Shakespeare plot against each other for the throne of England.

SEPTEMBER 13 – "1962" by Mohamed Kacimi (Algeria). Startling truths are revealed when two cousins, reunited on a dock in Marseilles, re-live growing up in Algeria during its war of independence.

NOVEMBER 15 – "Bintou" by Koffi Kwahulè (Ivory Coast). Bintou, an exotic 13 year-old gang leader, and her fellow African-immigrant peers seek to establish control in a culturally-clashing world.


Philippe Avron
Philippe Avron
OCTOBER 20, 21 at 8:00 pm -- UBU@FIAF presents Philippe Avron, the noted French classical actor, mime, acrobat, comedian and author, who will perform the U.S. premiere of his newest one-man show, "Je suis un saumon"
(in French), a witty allegorical journey which spellbound the audience at the last Avignon Festival. At Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street. Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 Seniors, Students, Ubu Rep and French Institute Alliance Française members. Box Office: (212) 355-6160 (Florence Gould Hall), group rates (212) 509-1455 (Ubu Rep).

Coinciding with the production, Ubu Rep will present two workshop programs with Philippe Avron:

OCTOBER 15 AND 16 -- A two-day workshop with Mr. Avron, centering on Moliére's "Dom Juan." Limited to 15 participants. Open but limited to actors, teachers, college students and high school seniors. Cost: $200. Basic knowledge of French required. Apply in writing and send resumé to: Françoise Kourilsky, Artistic Director, Ubu Repertory Theater, 95 Wall St., 21 fl., NYC 10005 (phone 212/509-1455; fax 212/509-1635, Email: uburep@spacelab.net). Application deadline June 1, 1999.

OCTOBER 13 AND 18 (available dates) -- "Encounter/Performance." Mr. Avron will approach such themes as the actor and the body, working with directors such as Vilar, Planchon, Besson and Brook, cabaret and music hall, the world of masks, costumes and props and writing a sketch. In French with possible simultaneous English translation. The format of this event will allow for dialogue with the participants. Enrollment limited to students and faculty of participating schools and universities. Interested institutions should contact Françoise Kourilsky, Artistic Director, Ubu Repertory Theater, 95 Wall St., 21 fl., NYC 10005 (phone 212/509-1455; fax 212/509-1635, Email: uburep@spacelab.net.

DECEMBER 1 TO 12 -- "Murder in Mind," written and directed by Xavier Durringer (France), translated by Timothy Johns. A story of misfit youth, exploding with multiracial angst and rage. Presented in association with La MaMa E.T.C. in La MaMa's Annex Theater, 74A East Fourth Street.

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