For 25 years, San-Francisco-based theatre company Word for Word has been putting on innovative productions of prose pieces performed as theatre. And each year, they do a small tour of France, giving audiences in Paris, Angers and Nancy the chance to experience their unique style of theatre. They’re back in April and May with two stories by American short-story greats Tobias Wolff and George Saunders.
Both authors are regular contributors of short stories to The New Yorker, as well as publishing novels, memoirs and essays. Several of Tobias Wolff's stories have already been adapted by Word for Word. Saunders studied creative writing under Wolff at Syracuse University. His highly innovative novel Lincoln in the Bardo won the 2017 Man Booker Prize.
The two stories being acted are both about adolescence. Wolff's "Deep Kiss" features a middle-aged man reminiscing about his first love. Saunders' "Victory Lap" shows us two awkward teens and an alarming bully. It's more conventionally told than Lincoln in the Bardo's multiple ghost narrators, but still has Saunders' distinctive, irreverential voice.
Word for Word performances don't rewrite the prose for the theatre. The stories are played as written, with all the paratext, yet really feel like theatre.
Details of performances and reservations below:
Paris: 17 April, 7.30 p.m.
Théatre de la Tour Eiffel, 4, square Rapp, Paris 7e.
Tickets from the American Library in Paris
Suggested donation: 20 euros (adults), 10 euros (students)
Nancy: 25-26 April, 8 p.m.
Amphi Déléage, Campus Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Université de Lorraine, 23 Boulevard Albert, Nancy
Information and reservations : 06 03 81 34 15 Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Angers: 2 May, 8 p.m.; 3 May, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Le Quart'Ney, 5-9 rue Duboys, Angers
Reservations from the English-Language Library Angers
Performances in English without surtitles.
> Experimental Novel about Abraham Lincoln Wins 2017 Booker Prize