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Well, the yelping has been nailed down, the costume pieces have been chosen and the reading of stage directions has been abandoned.

We put the image research on the wall outside of the theatre as an entry-way into the world.

Our first house was a full one. Mostly other students from the school. Their youthful buzzing was really wonderful to have for an opening.

I was struck by how much the audience laughed. On my last trip, I witnessed a staged reading in Paris and was struck by the bare-minimum audible response. I’d thought the play was pretty funny on the page. Hm.

Anyway, people seemed to be enjoying themselves and were very complimentary after the show.

Things couldn’t have been more different for the second performance.

The house was a third of what it had been the previous night, a bit older and soooo quiet.

On my first visit to St. Etienne, I showed the students videos of slam performances. If you’re not familiar with poetry slam culture, you should get to be. It’s an invigorating scene which has the potential to be life-altering in amazing ways. The slams I’ve been to are always raucous, joyful and full of audience response. I got the sense that the French students found the hooting and hollering slam audiences on the video a bit over the top. I explained to them that in slam, being politely quiet would read as disinterest or dislike for a performance. We ‘bout that noise.

Moral of the story—I sense a difference in the way French and American people receive theatre. Either way, I’m proud of the actors’ work and feel good about the piece.

Side note-we shut a club down to celebrate the opening. Dancing is good for the soul, but not for the sole. Ha. Ha ha. You love it.

More soon.