The Francs-Tireurs

 

This fifteen-minute experimental play concerns the politics of occupation and terrorism.  As the play opens, the Story-Teller begins to spin tales of terrorist attacks:  the details are drawn from the alleged terrorism committed by the Belgians against their German occupiers during World War I. However, the Story-Teller is immediately contradicted by the Fact-Generator, who corrects the factual record, and the Truth-Disseminator, who interprets these facts into broader truths about military occupation of another country.  As they duel with words, the speakers challenge each other in non-verbal combat positions.

 

Into this mix enters the Invisible Moderator, who serves as referee between the parties from an invisible location.  The Moderator asks difficult questions of all of the antagonists, confronting each side’s self-centered claims of legitimacy in regard to war, propaganda, and death.  Through these blunt inquiries, the Moderator highlights the pervasive uncertainty in language and truth in the postmodern era.

 

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Play Structure:

1 Act:  15-minute play

Cast size:

4

 

Gender:

All gender flexible.

Period:

The netherworld just beyond World War I.

Set:

A bare stage.

 

 

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Production History

 

The Francs-Tireurs was produced in the Mae West Fest, at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, in Seattle, WA, on July 22-25, 2004.  The play was directed by Brooke Cochran, with soundscapes and musics by Misha Burstein and sound engineering by David Day, and was performed by the following cast:

 

 

Story-Teller

Kirsten Helseth

Fact-Generator

Jessica Davis

Truth-Disseminator

Jen Renee Paulson

Invisible Moderator

Greg Bagdasaryan