Ionesco's "La Lecon" to be Performed March 4 at UB

Release Date: February 22, 2006 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Le Théâtre de la Chandelle Verte, a vibrant national educational theater company devoted to the performance of works for contemporary French theater, will present "Une soirée Ionesco" -- an evening devoted to playwright Eugene Ionesco -- at the University at Buffalo on March 4.

The production, which will be performed in French, will include a performance of Ionesco's comically nightmarish play, "La Leçon," and three short presentations.

It will take place at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the North (Amherst) Campus.

Admission will be free, but because of space restrictions, reservations are required and may be obtained by contacting Christian Flaugh at 645-2191, ext. 1205, or

The event will be co-sponsored by the Melodia E. Jones Chair in the UB Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the UB College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Canisius College and the Department of Foreign and Classical Languages at Niagara University.

"La Leçon" will be presented in connection with a production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Casting Hall Productions and the Theater Department at Buffalo State College at 8 p.m. March 2-4 and 9-11, and at 2 p.m. March 5 and 12 in Rockwell Hall on the Buffalo State campus. Tickets are $6-$10. For tickets, call the Rockwell Hall box office at 878-3005.

"La Leçon" is an existential comedy full of seething psychosexual undertones. It focuses on the erotic thrust of tyrannical power through an increasingly deranged male professor, who "instructs" a thick-headed female student pursuing a doctorate in "total knowledge. "It has delighted audiences since it premiered in Paris in 1950, and has remained relevant for more than a half-century.

The production will be directed by Christine Laderosa and will feature Christian Flaugh, UB assistant professor of romance languages and literatures, in the role of the professor. Flaugh co-founded Le Théâtre de la Chandelle Verte in 2002 with Francine Conley, who will play the role of the student. Rachel Higgins will play the role of the professor's maid.

Flaugh has studied and performed French-language theater since 1998, and has performed in musical and English-language theater productions since childhood. He specializes in Francophone studies and holds a doctorate in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Conley has been involved in French and Francophone theatrical productions since 1991 and is the author and producer of seven one-person plays. She, too, earned a doctorate in French from UW-Madison and is a professor of French at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn.

Higgins, a theater student at Western Michigan University, is an intern with Le Théâtre de la Chandelle Verte.

Although Romanian-born, Ionesco is nevertheless considered a French playwright and was a leading proponent of the Theatre of the Absurd. In fact, his plays "The Bald Soprano" (1956) and "Rhinoceros" (1959) are classics of that theatrical school.

"All my plays have their origin in two fundamental states of consciousness: now the one, now the other is predominant, and sometimes they are combined," Ionesco has said. "These basic states of consciousness are the awareness of evanescence and of solidity, emptiness and too much presence, the unreal transparency of the world and its opacity, of light and of thick darkness."

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