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An Evening of French Theater: October 19

Posted: October 17, 2011

Francophiles and theater-lovers alike will revel in the evening of French theater coming to the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Wednesday, October 19. Two one-act plays, La Peur Des Corps and La Voix Humaine, will be performed entirely in French by two acclaimed actors from the Caravague Theatre Company: Andre’ Nerman and Yannick Rocher.

The Modern and Classical Languages Department is presenting the performance in concert with L‘Alliance Francaise de Buffalo (AFB) and the Burchfield Penney as part of Buffalo State’s Year of the Arts programming.

 “We try to involve the college and community as much as possible with all things dealing with languages and cultures,” said William White, associate professor and department chair. The event “provides a great opportunity for people to get a glimpse into diverse cultures and languages,” White said.

George Courteline’s comedy La Peur Des Corps (Afraid to Fight) examines the relationship between a violent and overzealous husband and his wife after an evening out. According to the husband, she has been courted all night by a young, handsome army officer—and loved it.

Jean Cocteau’s play La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice) focuses on a woman talking on the phone to the lover she has just ended a relationship with, amid a bad connection. The piece was written in 1930, but anybody who has ever experienced a lost signal will empathize.

An Evening of French Theater will begin at 7:00 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

White expects a sizable turnout for the performances—from college and high school French students to native French speakers, adding that a large number of French-speaking people call Buffalo home.

AFB provides a multitude of events for the French community to stay connected to its culture and heritage, and offers courses for individuals wishing to learn the French language and experience French culture. Membership in the group is strong and growing.

Likewise, interest in French, along with other world languages, remains steady at Buffalo State, White said. Thirty Buffalo State students currently are majoring in French, and enrollment in French courses at the lower level stays full.

“We forget that French is a world language spoken on almost every continent,” White said. “In Africa, French is the common language that binds former French and Belgian colonies together for economic and cultural purposes. You see it blossoming across the world, from the number of speakers, the number of textbooks, novels, and poetry coming out of these countries.”

Advance tickets are $5 for students; $8 for AFB members and Buffalo State faculty and staff; and $10 for the general public.

On the evening of the performance, tickets cost $5 for students; $12 for AFB members and Buffalo State faculty and staff; and $15 for the general public. To order tickets, call (716) 878-6011 or visit

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Modern and Classical Languages

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Buckham Hall B234
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5414 •  Fax: (716) 878-6730