The casting is open to anyone interested in the French culture, student or not, actor or not (usually not), French-speaking or not, so the cast and crew always come from very diverse backgrounds. They are all volunteers, and all have different reasons to do it, but in the end, none of them has ever regretted their leap of faith. And a big leap it is for most since they have never set foot on a stage before the production. But even those who have some theatre experience can’t be prepared for our voyage! This unconventional theatrical endeavor requires a lot of goodwill, and if the road is never banal, the end result is not really predictable either. And I feel blessed to be able to instill my passion for each project in the students, and make them proud of their teamwork, year after year. At first, yes, it is “my” project, but the minute it clicks for them, I gladly let them run with it. It happens quickly and we have suddenly become a cast. Forget the faded jeans and worn-out sneakers, the dreadlocks and tattoos they may wear in the outside world! Here, in rehearsal, they ARE a XVth century catholic priest, a famous French singer with a story to tell, or a XVIIth century savante with curls and pearls and a very heavy gown garnished with trim and lace.

Seeing them grow into this enthusiastic and generous thespian bunch is very special. Slowly each one finds their mark within the group, then their voice, and that’s when I start getting input from them. “What if we said this like that instead?” or “Perhaps I could do that too?” They have suddenly become their own work of art in progress and this is exactly how it should be. This is why we need art: it develops our sensibility and it brings us together for a good greater than ourselves.