The last few months were busy with Summer camps and preparation to this new school year. New projects, finishing old projects, adapting to changes:
- Carine has accepted a full time position at L'Etoile Immersion School
- Carole went back to France - She is in a Master program in Artistic direction in Poitiers
- Jane had her second child this Summer - Welcome Maceo! and continue to work with the Alliance Française as the Children Program Coordinator & Teacher
We started our Fall classes a month ago already and it is exciting to be able to be present in all the French Immersion programs of the Portland Area. It was wonderful seeing old faces and meeting new students and Families. We could not be everywhere without our new teachers! Their bio and pictures will be soon added to our website but if you sign up for our newsletter, we are sending it this week!
What took us so long to write a new blog entry and sending our newsletter!?
Updating our website and being on top of writing this blog and our monthly newsletter are often last on our to-do list. Some administrative tasks, class preparation and moving some projects forward (New Show, performing > Rehearsing, Francophonie Theatre Festival) have to come first because we value professionalism and the quality of our programs. We value our relationships to our students and Families and with every Schools and team we work with. We are making a difference and that is what's important to us. However, to continue, we need support and help. Money is great, we all know this but everything else is more valuable.
If you have experience, are interested or simply enjoy proofreading, writing, Social Networking management, talk to people about us, have a couple hours to spare this month or every month for projects, consider writing us a quick email :
"Hey, how can I help? I can help with ...."
That will help us continuing to concentrate on what matters : bringing theatre, French, entertainment, education to the community!
Dear Friends of the Fabulations French Language Theater,
First, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for all of you
who joined us during the French Theater Festival of Portland festivities. It was our pleasure to be able to put a smile on your face. We were delighted to see so many of you together, spending time and sharing laughter with your family and friends.
You have heavily contributed to the success of our event! While contributing to make this year festival an incredible event, you are also helping us accomplish our goal, to introduce a new form of theater in the Portland Metro Area, to create a new type of French Language educational tool.
We would like to thank all of the Donors
which generous donations go a long way in helping the Fabulations development, more particularly our season’s donor Saint Honoré Bakery
. Our thanks also go to the Petite Provence Bakery
, La Brasserie Montmartre
, the Alliance Française de Portland
, and to the Northwest Children’s Theater and School
for letting us using their spaces for the various performances.
We thank our Local Media Organizations
as well, for helping us advertise and promote the festival. Your coverage of Fabulations events helped bring folks to the Festival from all over Oregon.
Please forward our appreciations to your family and friends
not on this mailing list who also spent the First French Theater Festival of Portland with us. We hope to see you again! Please write to us should you have any inquiries. We are always delighted to meet new friends! If you are interested in our organization, please visit our website www.fabulations.org
All of this would not be possible without you - thank you
Jane Fabulet-Roberts & Carine Zimber
Co-directors of Fabulations
Yuko Hardy, one of our great Fabulations' supporter gave the writing contest "le concours international des 10 mots de la francophonie" a try. Thank you Yuko for your participation.
Enjoy her lovely story!
Depuis décembre 2011, nous avons deux chats, dont les noms sont Milk et Kuro, une poule et un hamster. Nous avons accueilli un chaton de S.P.A. (Société Protectrice des Animaux), comme cadeau d’anniversaire pour notre fils. Il fallut attendre plus de douze mois pour l’adopter, par conséquence, son visage s’est épanoui quand Kuro, qui était tout à fait calme pendant les transports, est arrivé chez nous. En fait, toute ma famille a un penchant pour les chats, donc c’est vraiment naturel pour lui de demander un chat. J’ai songé que notre vieille chatte Milk aurait pris soin de Kuro, mais ce fȗt le cas contraire. Autrement dit, je n’ai pas bien cerné son caractère, bien que nous l’ayons eu pendant trois ans. Nous ne pouvons pas confier le chaton à Milk. L’ouistiti, comme nous l’appelons de temps en temps, et Milk, ils ne sont, malheureusement, pas des amis de palier. Kuro a l’âme en peine parce qu’il n’est pas l’ami de Milk. Cette situation est unsupportable. Si la méfiante changeait d’attitude pour lui, l’ouistiti écouterait une histoire stupéfiant, épanouie ou à la noix de Milk.
Two weeks ago, Carine mentioned a writing contest in celebration of the International Francophone Week. She first put pen to paper to produce a fantastic text about her childhood. The next week, Jane gave it a try too and transported us to the cosy romantic city of Venice. This week, my turn to give it a shot! Remember the rules? Narrate in less than 2000 characters a vacation memory, imperatively using these 10 words: autrement – âme – songe – transports – histoire – chez – confier – naturel – penchant – caractère. So here we go.
Tous les enfants n’ont pas la chance d’avoir grandi à deux pas de l’océan. Profiter de la plage et des embruns sans pour autant quitter le confort de son chez-soi. La beauté de la côte en été, le phare à la nuit tombée et le soleil rouge, penchant dangereusement au-dessus de la mer à chaque crépuscule.
Malgré ces satisfactions qui font l’âme de notre région, c’est toujours à cette saison que nous pliions bagages et partions pour nos vacances annuelles. Quitter la Vendée, le quotidien et la foule de parisiens descendus piquer une tête, histoire de s’oxygéner.
Bien sûr, avant d’arriver en terre promise, généralement un petit coin de France sélectionné selon le naturel de son environnement, de longues heures de route attendaient notre fratrie. Assis sur nos sièges inconfortables, cherchant tant bien que mal des occupations, ces temps de confinement dans l’habitacle du véhicule produisirent au final des souvenirs indélébiles.
Je donnais généralement le ton : mon imagination débordante requérait l’attention des autres. Commençaient alors des jeux où chaque situation ou question veillait à tromper l’ennui. Parfois, des chants appris à l’école envahissaient la voiture, plongeant mon père dans les songes profonds de son enfance. Par temps gris, les courses de gouttes sur les vitres trempées par la pluie avaient beaucoup de succès. Et quelques fois, en bravant avec patience les files interminables des transports coincés dans les embouteillages, des secrets venaient à être échangés: partager nos idées, confier nos rêves, nos projets.
Il était par instant difficile de supporter le caractère des autres. Des chamailleries éclataient tel l'orage, pouvant entraîner jusqu’à un arrêt soudain sur le bas-côté. « On se calme maintenant. Autrement… on rentre à la maison ! ». Des menaces en l’air qui savaient pourtant nous remettre à notre place.
Et bien que de retour au calme, nous bouillions intérieurement d'impatience. Conscients que nous nous apprêtions à vivre des instants de vies inoubliables.
In Carine's last posts she mentioned a writing contest in celebration of the International Francophone Week: narrate in less than 2000 characters a vacation memory, imperatively using these 10 words: autrement – âme – songe – transports – histoire – chez – confier – naturel – penchant – caractère.
As Carine, I don't fit the age requirement either to enter the contest but we decided that it would be fun if all our team was pretending entering the contest.
Je me sens comme un auteur devant sa page blanche à la différence seule que j'ai 10 mots devant moi. Je repense à l'histoire de Carine et j'ai beau chercher, aucun souvenir de mon enfance ne vient m'inspirer. Je relis cette première ligne et surprise, j'ai déjà utilisé un mot. Je relis les 10 mots à utiliser et il n'y a rien à faire aucun souvenir personnel ne vient à mon aide. En revanche, mon naturel penchant pour la Commedia dell'arte et certains de ces 10 mots me font alors voyager vers des personnages aux caractères stéréotypés mais si humains. Je me vois déjà chez Pantalone à écouter entre deux portes, j'aperçois Colombine confier à Arlequin le dernier songe de sa jeune maîtresse et Arlequin raconter les transports amoureux de Léandre pour Isabelle. Je me ballade dans le jardin de la maison du Dottore, et je vois Polichinelle, l'âme en peine, lire la lettre de refus que Colombine lui a écrite. Un bruit me fait sursauter, je sors de mes rêveries italiennes et je relis mon paragraphe. Je compte les mots: neuf! Encore un à utiliser mais autrement, j'ai fini! HA! Ca y est! J'ai fini! Finalement, en relisant encore une fois, je me rends compte que tout ce paragraphe me rappelle les deux voyages que j'ai eu la chance de faire en Italie. Je me souviens de me perdre délicieusement un matin très tôt dans les ruelles désertes de Venise à la recherche de la maison d'enfance de Carlo Goldoni.
Ecrit par Jane
March 17 to March 25, millions of French speaking people around the globe will come together to celebrate the French language and francophone cultures for the 15th annual “Fête de la Francophonie.”
For the occasion, the French organization AFAL (Association Francophone d'Amitié et de Liaison) launched a writing contest: le concours international des 10 mots de la francophonie
Librarians and young adults (18-25) from around the world are encouraged to share a vacation memory in French incorporating this year's 10 words: autrement – âme – songe – transports – histoire – chez – confier – naturel – penchant – caractère
A panel of writers, journalists and linguists among others will be judging the entries. The best texts will be published in an anthology.
You have until March 20th to submit your entries, so get to your pens (or keyboard) and pass the word around!
to enter the contest or for more information.
By now, you've probably read the article published in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago with the sensational title Why French Parents are Superior. We discussed it at length with friends over hot chicken wings during Super Bowl Sunday: it was a debate as juicy as the wings and it brought up endless anecdotes and even more parenting stereotypes.
When Pamela Druckerman in her article opposed the “French patience” vs the “American instant gratification,” I immediately thought of Françoise Dolto, the renown (at least in France) baby and early childhood psychoanalyst, and of something I had read a while back in a collection of articles and conference transcripts titled Tout est langage.
Dolto was bringing up the concept of need versus desire, and how it is our role as parents to satisfy our children's needs but not necessarily their desires. Her argument is that desires are important to children, but rather than indulging these desires with instant gratification, there is much more benefit in delaying their fulfillment, if at all. Instead, Dolto argues, valorizing the desire by talking about it, discussing it, sharing in the daydream is what brings the true and lasting gratification to the child. It is not so much the fulfillment of their desires that children seek, but rather the opportunity to connect. Furthermore, she says, it is the unfulfilled desire that helps the child grow, and it is the same unfulfilled desire that shapes itself into creativity and invention.
Could it be, then, that learning patience, rather than being a French thing, is nothing more than accepting no for an answer and making the best of it?
I had a set of Russian dolls as a child and loved them. I would pull out a doll out of each hollow body, sort them, nest them back together, only to start all over again. Today I can see with my own children the fascination this nesting system brings to them. There is something puzzling and magical about creating multiplicity out of a single object.
This is this magical and fascinating effect that we are trying to recreate for our set: with as few props as possible, we want the Child (Polycolor's main character) to literally build the world he is acting out.
On a table, the Child progressively builds up the background in which he is evolving with materials at hand. From a variety of blocks, cylinders, cones and pyramids, and with different systems of nesting, rotation and stacking, he slowly builds a multidimensional world that we hope will surprise, fascinate and capture our audience's imagination.
When creating Polycolor, we unknowingly pushed the nesting concept even further since it turns out that Polycolor is in fact a play within a play: it is the story of a child, who is acting out a make-believe, transforming as he plays along familiar and nondescript elements into a grandiose backdrop for the story he has become part of.
When I was teaching adult beginner and intermediate levels, students always came to me to seek advice on how they could extend the classroom experience and practice on their own. Here are six easy tips to practice reading, writing, oral and listening skills at home, whether you've started taking French lessons, picked-up French again or just want to keep up your skills. The best part: you might actually enjoy it!
- Read in French: start with children books, move on to blogs, magazines, comics, non-fictions, novels, poetry, etc. Whatever sparks your interest! Look up some key words in a dictionary but if you understand the general meaning, keep on reading. You can always go back later and check for a definition.
- Watch a movie in French – without the distracting English subtitles. Instead, some DVDs offer French captions for the hearing impaired, try it, it will dramatically improve your French movie experience. Beware though, the captions aren't usually a true transcript of what is being said on screen, but it definitely helps keeping track of what's going on.
- Watch the news in French. The website www.euronews.net lets you watch the news and read the transcripts at the same time, in the language of your choice. www.tv5.org is another great resource to watch the news and other programs in French.
- Listen to French music and podcasts. Check www.listenlive.eu for a list of French radios streaming online.
- Go to a French meet-up group. Speaking with others who are also learning the language can help you shed that fear of making mistakes. Once you realize you can communicate, your confidence will take a boost, and so will your progress. Check out http://portland.sudre.fr/portland-french-groups for a list of French meet-ups in the Portland metro area.
- Find a French or French-speaking pen-pal. It is a great way to practice your French written skills and meet new people. Check out www.polyglot-learn-language.com
Here's a little insight on Polycolor
, our work in progress based on Robert Neubecker's
children book Courage of the Blue Boy
. It is scheduled to premier in April 2012.
The concept: there is only one actor, playing the character of a child who, in the world of make-believes, pretends to be Blue as he creates onstage the different lands in which Blue evolves. His companion Polly-the calf is the child's lovey (a “doudou” in French,) and most of the play's dialogue is the child/Blue talking to Polly-the lovey as he shares his observations, questions and emotions.
The synopsis: True to Neubecker's story, the child/Blue leaves his blue land in a quest to find other colors. As he travels, he comes to the realization that, although discovering new colors is fantastic, the monochromatic lands he explores are still very much like the land he left: plain and monotone. He starts longing for diversity and eventually debarks in a big, polychromatic city. His first reaction is of excitement and exhilaration before realizing that he and Polly are the only mark of blue in the city. Fear of what other people might think, loneliness and longing for his blue land make him retreat, until he finds the courage to share his color and to eventually come back out in the city where a wonderful surprise awaits.We are now working on the set/props and Marc Bescond is composing the original score, so stay tuned for more updates! In the meanwhile, feel free to share your comments and thoughts. We would love to hear from you about what you think of the project!Carine