Performance (w/ Julie Béna)

The piece you are about to witness is a hall of mirrors. Things are reflected, obscured, echoed, flipped and refracted, and hopefully will continue to do so in your memory long after the end of the performance. Reflection begins with the script translated in these pages, which you are invited to follow along. The dialog is a bi-lingual juggle; words spoken in French will be printed in English and words spoken in English will be printed in French. Sam, whose name shares the title of the play, is an American soldier from the First World War. It is unclear whether he is alive, dead, or somewhere in between. The ephemeral veteran is introduced to us by an anthropomorphized Microphone Stand. Although he begins as a coherent narrator and becomes more complex and indecipherable as the performance unfolds. Sam, the Microphone Stand, a trio of manicurists, ushers with flashlights and a Band animate the stage with movement, dialog and song, and eventually we find ourselves at the Plateau de Californie, an important WWI battleground in Craonne. The manicurists take a break from their nail filing to read love letters from Sam to someone named Fruty. Distance, memory, tenderness and death permeate these letters and finally we are left with nothing but nail dust and the shells of sunflower seeds. - Julie Trotta

Play in IV movements, written and set up by Julie Béna & Antonio Contador.

w/ Peter Miller, James Joint, Héléna de Laurens, Isabelle Klein, Caroline Lionnet and the Portuguese Band of Paris.

Original Soundtrack by Simon Ripoll-Hurier, Nail Art by Sophie A., Proofreading and Translation by Alexandra Bigaignon, Graphic Design by Gonçalo Sena.

Commande publique du Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP), dans le cadre de l’exposition « Des choses en moins, des choses en plus », Palais de Tokyo, 13 février – 02 mars 2014. (Commissaires : Sébastien Faucon et Agnès Violeau)

Libretto (pdf)︎

Photos: Margot Montigny and Aurélien Mole