French-English Language Theater Workshop   (français)
By Guillaume THECHI

"It is necessary to try what one does not know"; with this idea , Arnaud, a 25 year old data processing specialist, enjoys coming every Thursday. "Above all, it is a moment of relaxation" he states, "what's more, the theatre brings me confidence when making speeches in public." There are two objectives of the workshop: "to discover the theatre while working with the language", explains Julien who is animated next to Eugenie at the meeting on Thursday evening.

«The goal is not to train professionals, but to create, to exchange, and to share while having fun. »

Eugenie does not consider herself a teacher. "The course is open. It is not up to me. Everyone brings their experience, their desires, their ideas" Eugenie continues, "at the origin of this theatrical and linguistic workshop, which attracts on average about ten people every Thursday evening."

Relaxing at the improvisation

Eugenie and I are the managers, but the workshop is free access," confirms Julien. Beginners, experienced, French-speaking, Spanish-speaking, English-speaking and others start the meeting with a lively relaxation. "Some come to be released from their shyness and others more experienced, to practice," admits Eugenie: "The levels are varied but this is where it is interesting." The first five minutes make it possible for everyone to become relaxed, to release the stress of the day. Sitting or standing, the group is soothed by the voice of Eugenie who invites everyone to leave their distant regions: "You are walking alone on a beach, what do you see ?" Obviously, no answer, but a certain escape. "Open your eyes," return to reality. Presentations are made and various exercises begin: movement, contact, mime, verbal expression.

Confidence is also tested by our beginning comedians.

Work on the Emotions

The play consists of being guided by a person while eyes are closed, then to fall backwards. The person who guides us controls us. No technical or physical features but a test of confidence in the natural side. There is also work on the emotions to prepare for other exercises. Each one pronounces, in turn the same sentence with a particular emotion (anger, love, excitement, timidity, etc.) with three different degrees of intensity. "The first phase lasts one hour or a little longer; it allows the release of shyness, the removal of apprehensions. The idea is to prepare for the improvisation, the second part of the course," explains Eugenie. "These exercises avoid mental blockings." Following these various verbal settings, the improvisations takes all its rights. It makes it possible to activate one's imagination, to choose one's words and to reduce panic. "The meetings are fitted according to requests," specifies Eugenie.

Improvisations in English

Restricted however, for the French are the English improvisations. The goal is that each one is released gradually, in the course of the meetings and the weeks. "It's a matter of supervised improvisations with a preparation time," details Eugenie. The preparation makes it possible to easily practice the exercise in the language of Shakespeare. The effects of the theatre are different for everyone, some are released, and others are inhibited. "I observe at the beginning of meeting, I try to so that they can express other emotions than what they are. I see improvements." From her experience, Eugénie does not hesitate to give the group encouragement or confidence. The group is composed of different people with different personalities. The meetings go well, but, "it has already happened that I have certain people who search for the weakness in the exercises, who try to test me."

A project of creating a show

Eugenie prefers to hold on to the federator aspect of the theatre rather than the dimension of competition and performance. The show project at the end of the year abounds in this direction. "I would like to present something concrete. It is necessary to have everyone's participation." The real difficulty is motivating all of the group to accomplish this project. This is a new challenge for Eugenie, but she is determined.

Practical Information : French -English theater workshop, at 7:30 PM

Registration at the Office of the International Club :
Adress : 201-203, rue de Vaugirard
75015 � Paris
Participating fee : 4 € ( with reservation)