Pisier Stars as de Beauvoir in Liaison Transatlantique, Sept. 30-Oct. 2

The French Institute Alliance Française will present Liaison transatlantique: Letters of Simon de Beauvior to Nelson Algren (A one-woman show based on Fabrice Rozié's play Transatlantic Liaison) as part of the Act French festival with performances on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st at 8:00 and Sunday, October 2nd at 5:00 PM at Florence Gould Hall, (55 East 59th Street). Act French: A Season of New Theater From France is a citywide festival celebrating French contemporary theater through a diverse range of performances, lectures and events at venues throughout NYC from July - December 2005.

"Playwright Fabrice Rozié has long been fascinated with the love life of Simone de Beauvoir, best known as writer of the incendiary proto-feminist essay The Second Sex. Her lifelong, sensationally elastic sexual and intellectual partnership with the existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre was twenty years old at the time of its publication in 1949. On a visit to America, Beauvoir fell deeply in love with Nelson Algren, the clear-eyed, hard-living and still under-appreciated novelist (The Man with the Golden Arm). The play gives us an inkling of Beauvoir's innermost thoughts: a woman with a conventional, bourgeois sensibility transforms into an emancipated, modern intellectual. Transatlantic Liaison tells Beauvoir's story of love beyond conventions of marriage, or of adultery, sifting telling details from her published letters to Algren and her novel of their relationship, The Mandarins. At her death in 1986, Beauvoir asked to be buried beside Sartre at Montparnasse wearing Algren's ring. Algren died alone in Sag Harbor, NY in 1981," state production notes.

The show will star Marie-France Pisier as Beauvoir. She recollected those years in her novel, Le bal du Gouverneur (The Governor's Ball), which she later adapted and directed for the screen (1990). Sher began a film career at 17 in Francois Truffaut's Love at Twenty (1962) playing opposite Jean-Pierre Léaud and later appeared in Truffaut's Stolen Kisses (1968), and Love on the Run (1979). She earned degrees in law and political science at the University of Paris and appeared in several experimental features including Jacques Rivette's Celine and Julie Go Boating (1973), before her breakthrough performance came in Jean-Charles Tacchella's Cousin, cousine in 1975. The film was a hit in America and earned Pisier a supporting actress nomination from the NY Film Critics Circle and her first Cesar Award; she took home a second Cesar in 1977 for her supporting role in the crime drama Barocco. Later films include Pourquoi maman est dans mon lit (d. Malakian, 1993), Tous les jours dimanche (d. Tacchella, 1994), Marion (d. Poirier, 1996), Why Not Me? (d. Giusti, 1998), The Skating Rink (d. Toussaint, 1999) and Like an Airplane (2002), which she wrote, directed and appeared in. She is an accomplished theater actress and keen interpreter of the works of Jean-Marie Besset. She has also enjoyed success as a writer, with the published novels Je n'ai aimé que vous (I Loved Only You), La Belle imposture (Beautiful Impostor) and most recently, Le deuil du printemps (Mourning for Spring).

Director Sandrine Dumas divides her time between cinema and theater. She has appeared in films by Robert Altman, Milos Forman, Krystof Kieslowski, Laurent Perrin, Giaccomo Campiotti, among others. Since 2000, Dumas has been writing screenplays. Her first short film, The Bodyguard, was featured at the Berlin festival in 2003. In 2004, Dumas directed Chère Maître (Dear Master), Peter Eyre's script based on the letters of George Sand & Gustave Flaubert at the Théâtre de la Gaité-Montparnasse in Paris with a cast including Marie-France Pisier, Thierry Fortineau and Renaud Pion; the show will tour later this year.

The Act French festival is organized/co-produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Association Française d'Action Artistique (AFAA) & French American Cultural Exchange (FACE). For full schedule of events and more information on Act French visit www.ActFrench.org.

Performances are Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1 at 8:00 and Sunday, October 2 at 5:00 PM. The Sunday, October 2 performance will be followed by a Q&A with Pisier, Dumas & John McLean (producer & director of the upcoming Off-Broadway production of the play Transatlantic Liaison).

As a releated event, director Madeleine Gobeil-Noël will introduce a special screening of her documentary Le portrait croisé de Simone de Beauvoir et de Jean-Paul Sartre on Tuesday, September 27 at 7:00 PM, followed by Q&A at the French Institute Alliance Française at the Tinker Auditorium (55 East 59th Street). Tickets are $12 ($8 members) and may be arranged through Ticketmaster (212) 307-4100 or at the Florence Gould Hall Box Office (Tues.- Fri from 11 AM – 7 PM & Sat. from 11 AM – 3 PM) at 55 East 59th Street.

Tickets for Liaison transatlantique are $25 ($20 for FIAF, Ohio Theater and 59E59 theaters members, students, seniors). Tickets are available through Ticketmaster (212) 307-4100 or at the Florence Gould Hall Box Office (Tues.- Fri from 11 AM – 7 PM & Sat. from 11 AM – 3 PM) at 55 East 59th Street. For information call (212) 355-6160.

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