French · 31 mars 2008 · IN THE SOLITUDE OF COTTON FIELDS

French · 31 mars 2008 · IN THE SOLITUDE OF COTTON FIELDS
Eric Vigner: In the Solitude of Cotton Fields
31 Mar 2008
Langue: Anglais
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31 mars 2008

ÉRIC VIGNER: In the Solitude of Cotton Fields

The Koltes Project sets its seeds in Atlanta: this project was created out of 7 Stages’ desire to continue the artistic legacy of the playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès. Atlanta actor and translator, Isma’il ibn Conner teams up with 7 Stages Artistic Director and actor, Del Hamilton, in a world première translation into American English of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields _Dans la Solitude des Champs de Coton_ by the highly acclaimed contemporary French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès.

This play is a journey of deals - both profane and sacred, of desires that must be discovered and satisfied, of light and dark - two aspects of one entity, and the powerful interaction of two men who are more familiar than they appear. There is only a dealer, a client and desires that must be satisfied at all costs.

Forty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King (April 4, 1968), Director ÉRIC VIGNER, head of the CDDB – Théâtre de Lorient, is staging In the Solitude of Cotton Fields by Bernard-Marie Koltès at Atlanta’s 7Stages Theatre. Moving from BMK to MLK, and from French to English, ÉRIC VIGNER undertakes the creation of giving voice to theater, theater sensitive to both the location and the text – with empathy for the deeper sense of the words and the places where they are to be produced (Atlanta), and its title (solitude, cotton fields)… ÉRIC VIGNER’s staging focuses on the history - or rather, the histories of BMK and MLK - and makes all the world a stage, calling in question the world and the dividing lines between individuals and peoples, dividing lines that still exist after the advent of civil rights, the end of segregation, or apartheid, in the United States and indeed all over the world. Hosting one of the hottest French directors is a coup for Atlanta, but it also means our show has the best possible person as its leader, so we are especially happy to have him, says Hamilton.


This production marks the beginning of the US Koltès Project, a ten-year project created in order to translate and produce six of Koltès’ plays, to continue the artistic legacy of the playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès. In cooperation with and through the exclusive permission of the Koltès Estate, a ten-year program was established in order to translate and produce six of Koltès’ plays: Dans la solitude des champs de coton, Le Jour des meurtres dans l’histoire d’Hamlet, Sallinger, La Nuit juste avant les forêts, Tabataba and Quai Ouest. 7 Stages chose these plays because they address the curious human condition and predicament that U.S. citizens face in relation to themselves, as citizens of the world. Bernard-Marie Koltès emerged as one of the most distinctive and important dramatic voices of the 1980s. His work, based in real-life problems, expresses the tragedy of being alone and of death. His writing style accents the dramatic tension and the lyricism of his plays. Each play speaks of intense isolation, fear of the ’Other’, deal-making, senseless war, misplaced national loyalty, and dysfunctional familial love/hate. Isma’il ibn Conner, Artistitic Associate of 7 Stages and the official translator of the Koltès plays explains, the 7 Stages U.S. Koltès Project is a long-range effort to make new versions of Koltès’ plays, including several that have not been published, as well as his novels and other writings by and about him.


The driving force behind Vigner’s theatrical approach is neither ideological, nor analytical, it is poetic. His direction acts as a luminating force shielding light on these significant writings. ÉRIC VIGNER develops a theater that questions the world, its frontiers between the people. ÉRIC VIGNER has directed many contemporary playwrights such as Marguerite Duras’ Savannah Bay at the Comédie-Française in Paris (2002) as well as at Espace Go in Montreal (2007), The Beast in the Jungle at the Kennedy Center in Washington (2004), and Pluie d’été à Hiroshima (2006) for the 60th Avignon Festival. Vigner develops a new approach of the French classics as well: he directed Racine’s Bajazet (Comédie-Française, 1995), Molière’s Ecole des Femmes (Comédie-Française, 1999), to name a few. He develops international collaborations, searching for a genuine mutual cultural transmission: Molière’s and Lully’s comedy-ballet The bourgeois gentleman for the National Theater of Korea in Seoul in 2004; Beaumarchais’ The barber of Seville with the actors of the National Theater of Albania in 2007.


Isma’il Ibn Conner has been awarded a coveted stageplay translation residency in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, (France) at La Chartreuse - Centre National des écritures du spectacle for 2008. The basis of this residency is to continue translation work on Dans la Solitude des Champs de Coton (In the Solitude of Cotton Fields) and begin work on Le Jour des Meurtres (Koltès’ version of Hamlet). Isma’il also performed a sneak preview/staged reading of his translation, In the Solitude of Cotton Fields, at the 2007 TCG Conference for The Global Tapas program in Minneapolis, Minn. Other projects include Black Battles With Dogs directed by Arthur Nauzyciel at the Festival d’Avignon, France and the Hellenic Festival in Athens, Greece. BBWD debuted at 7 Stages in 2001 and subsequently toured France (Lorient, Créteil, and Clermont-Ferrand). BBWD was in Chicago for the “Playing French Festival” at the Athenaeum. Isma`il reprises his role as Alboury in BBWD to be performed in May 2008 in Orléans, France at the Centre Dramatique National, as well as Anvers, Belgium in January 2009. Isma’il is an Artistic Associate with 7 Stages Theatre and creator of 7 Stages’ resident artist ensemble Group 7 (G7).


As co-founder of 7 Stages, Del has been a part of the company since its inception in 1979. As Artistic Director, he has directed over 30 productions at 7 Stages, including HUSH: Composing Blind Tom Wiggins, Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa!, Susan Yankowitz’s Night Sky, Macbeth, The Tempest, numerous plays by Sam Shepard. He has also acted in such notable plays as Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Carmen Kittel by Georg Seidel, Der Park by Botho Strauss, Fugard’s A Place With the Pigs, Der Frosch by Herbert Achternbusch, and the original production of Jim Grimsley’s Mr. Universe. Del directed a very successful production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Teatr Nowy in Poznan, Poland, and he has acted and directed at theaters in Atlanta, New York, London, and Amsterdam. Del is the author of several plays and has received numerous awards, including the 1994 Mayor’s Fellowship in the Arts and the 1992 Arts Alive Excellence in the Arts Award. He was named Best Director for 2002 by Atlanta Magazine.