Rehearsals : History Boys

Wednesday, December 12th : Last afternoon of rehearsal for the theater group of students of the British Section who will perform, next week, Alan 

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Bennett's play, The History Boys . The group is made of eight actors, seven boys and a girl, led by William Blasco , counseled and encouraged by other students and Sarah , assistant in English, all together and warmed by their enthusiasm in the Maison des Lycéens.

 The play is part of the contemporary repertoire . It was created in 2004 and its author , novelist , playwright , actor, screenwriter and director, was born in 1934. It has known a great success , won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2005 and Tony Awarde in 2006. It resulted in a film in which the actors of the play acted. This piece is part of the program for high school seniors this year.The action takes place in 1980 in a school where students are preparing to enter Oxford or Cambridge. Hector is a professor of literature with little academic methods which advocates a lively approach to culture . He is popular with students, but the familiar behavior he demonstrates causes his dismissal. The Director concerned of the students' results, then recruits Irwin to train students for the competition that awaits them. He bases his method on the awakening of the critical eye.

The play stimulates reflection on teaching , pedagogy , issues around the three characters , Hector, Irwin and the Director, but also through the reactions and reflections of students. We can easily understand that it has challenged our young actors. They expressed surprise at the first reading and their pleasure to work on a text which is contemporary by its language and the questions it raises . They appreciated the funny moments in a show with a serious background. Did they have trouble to slip into the shoes of the characters ? Not really. Most of them have the same age as the character they embody and the academic world that is shown is not completely foreign to them .

16The atmosphere in the rehearsal room and the interest for the theater and for this play encouraged other students to join the group . All agree that the preparation of this performance brings them a better understanding of this part of the curriculum, especially with a text so full of literary and artistic allusions that enlarges their general knowledge.

 

On stage, that is to say in the lower part of the Maison des Lycéens , William Blasco firmly and tactfully directs the progresses of these young actors, already in costume. He corrects here the tone of a voice, there a gesture... All start again patiently , one two, three times. Different settings of a scene are tested, to choose the best one... The viewer can appreciate the feat that this work represents : directing actors is an art, acting is an art ! Understanding one's character is not enough, they have to be actors , move on stage , dare gestures, tones of their voice they didn't know, in front of an audience, to give life to their characters . A beautiful work !

Two performances are scheduled :

Tuesday, December 18 at 19h
Wednesday, December 19 at 19h
Amphitheater High School Grand Air
 

The students of La Baule welcome students from a high school in Le Havre for a performance of The History Boys and will go see it performed by students of International School in Saint -Germain -en- Laye in February 2013.



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