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9th Festival of Schools, MC93, Bobigny

Lycée Louise Michel, Bobigny

May 2018, The Suppliants, by Aeschylus

Translation, adaptation and staging: Ismini Vlavianou

    Masks, costumes: Anne Mériaux

Artistic speaker: Samir Siad 

With 28 students from Première and Terminale from the Atelier Théâtre du lycée


Play: The Suppliants of Aeschylus

Translation, adaptation, direction: Ismini Vlavianou

Masks, sets, costumes: Anne Mériaux

On the play: Fleeing a forced marriage with their cousins the Egyptians, the Danaides leave the Nile and set sail towards Argos, accompanied by their father Danaos. Argos, a city equaling Athens in its social and political justice, is the country of origin of their ancestor Io… Will King Pelasgos and the Pelasgians grant them political asylum?

  Les Suppliantes, a play where “democracy” is mentioned for the first time, is the only ancient tragedy in which the Chorus plays the main role. 



ALTUN Dogan (1ES2), ANWAR Sara (1L), BEDJAIT Melinda (1STMG2), BELABBES Farah (1S2), BLANC Marie (TST2S), BLAVO Bénédicte (TES1), BOLEK Fatma (TL), BOURGUIBA Anyssa (TSTMG2), BRICE Chloé (TES/L), CISCAR Laura (1S2), DIE-PHAURE David (1ES1), DOGRUL Suna (TL), DOUKANSE Ismaël (1ES2), GASSAMA Aminata (TL), GBAKAYORO Jennifer (1STMG4), JILANI Rania (1S1), KIVONGELE Leonardo (1ES2), LAIFAOUI Anissa (TES/L), LISSER Sarah (1S3), MANUEL Chanseli (TL), MARZOUK Myriam (1S3), MASSENGO Djélissa (1STMG2), MAVUNGU Jennyfer (1STMG3), SAEED Hamza (1ES1), SILJEGOVIC Alexandre (TES/L), SODHI Samy (TL), OULEDI MEHAL Enricka (1STMG4), UTKUN Hatice (1L)

The Les Suppliantes project won the Talent Company Prize, Prize of the Equal Opportunities Foundation, June 2018.

Text by a student actress,  Fatma B. 

This year we are preparing Les Suppliantes, written in the 5th century BC by Aeschylus, with an adaptation by one of our theater teachers: Mme Vlavianou.

  On first reading, I didn't really like the play, especially because it included a choir made up of several girls, requiring a joint movement at the same time. Subsequently, as I became acquainted with the piece, I particularly liked it for its background which exposed to me what I did not know by my own will about my origins and pushed me to face  the fate of the women in my family, victims of fate, like the Danaides in our play,  forced to marry their cousins. By embodying the role of the Corypheus,  with  lyrics expressing the resistance mixed with the despair of the Danaides, I'm not just content to play a role. Being sensitive to the women's cause, I pay tribute at the same time to the women of my family and all the women in the four corners of the world, who unfortunately have not had, or still have not  the legitimacy to oppose the decisions of the patriarchy. When I say: "I would like to be a black smoke...rather perish in a mortal fall than undergo a criminal marriage against my will", I think of my aunt who committed suicide following a forced marriage, or of my grandmother -mother who tried to run away on the wedding night and who was arrested  by my grandfather,  desperately abandoned her body in his arms. 

I also represent my condition as an immigrant in France through the Danaïdes who came to Argos with the hope of being protected on these lands. When one of my classmates says, "Do you understand my words despite my barbaric accent?" », I think of myself, who does not always have the same privileges as the people around me, even though I went through the same school career, having acquired the same knowledge.

At the end of the play, with the incarnation of the corypheus,  my words  "opting for the best of the worst and for the middle voice" represent the phosphorescence in the midst of the darkness where  find the Danaïdes desperate in the face of destiny. By pronouncing these words, as an 18-year-old girl, I also express my faith in the evolution of morals and the gaze of society.

So the room  des Suppliantes manages to have an impact on the “actors”, with its strength due in particular to the fact that it remains contemporary while being originally ancient. What she represents most difficult, but at the same time great is the movement of the choir with different bodies, girls of different ethnic origins  expressing the same sadness and claiming the same rights. I see this  as a beautiful painting that should be a fine example in the world, pushing women who share  the same pain  to come together to make their voices heard.

Invitation Les Suppliantes_edited.jpg
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