© 2019 by Yagil Eliraz

The Madwoman of Chaillot

     Jean Giraudoux was a French novelist, essayist, diplomat and playwright.  He is considered among the most important French dramatists of the period between World War I and World War II.  His writing clearly sows the seeds of the Theater of The Absurd, which would flourish 15 years later, making Giraudoux one of the ancestors of Ionesco, Arrabal, Beckett and others.

 

     The play is a wonderful and witty comedy.  It was premiered in 1945 in France, was adapted for a Broadway musical in 1969 (under the name Dear World), and the same year was also adapted to a film, starring Katharine Hepburn.  At the heart of the play is the conflict between two worlds: the new world – industrial, modern, cold and alienated, in which money is the undoubted new ruler - and, against it, the world of yesterday, pastoral, romantic, humane and decorous.  

 

     A group of corrupted businessmen and politicians aims to search for oil underneath the Chaillot area in Paris, even at the cost of getting rid of everybody who lives there.  Against them stands the "Madwoman of Chaillot", who believes she still lives at the peak of the romantic period, and refuses to acknowledge the new world, which has started to emerge on the old one's ruins.  She is determined to save the neighborhood, and gathers the doubting locals to help her carry out her plan to get rid of all of Paris' nouveau riche.

     

     I've chosen to adapt and direct this play during the social awakening in major parts of the world in 2011.

 

Nissan Nativ Acting Studio, Jerusalem 2012

 

 

Credits

Play by: Jean Giraudoux

Translation: Carmi Charny (T. Carmi)

Set Design: Noa Nave

Costume Design: Francoise Coriat

Sound Design: Alberto Shwartz

Lighting Design: Uri Rubinstein

 

Actors: Class of 2012, Nissan Nativ Acting Studio