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Ben Yalom collaborating with Alliance Française and foolsFURY

Award: $35,000 Performing Arts Grant awarded in 2005

Premiere: May 7-28 2007 at Traveling Jewish Theater/Z Below

Collaborating with Alliance Française, playwright Ben Yalom and foolsFURY Theater Company translated, workshopped, and presented in San Francisco Le Diable en Partage/The Devil on All Sides, a work by Fabrice Melquiot, one of France’s most significant young playwrights. The project culminated with the play’s world premiere in English.

At the time this grant was awarded, little of Melquoit’s work had been produced in English. Ben Yalom translated the play with Michelle Haner, and with the support and assistance of language and cultural experts at Alliance Française. When the first draft was complete, foolsFURY presented a workshop reading of it at Alliance Française’s theater in downtown San Francisco.  This presentation of the draft and feedback from participants gathered by the collaborators was followed by further refinement of the translation, community performances by the ensemble of the work in progress, and — ultimately — the play’s premiere.

Ben Yalom has studied and worked in theater and film as a director, actor, and producer in the United States and France.  A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his fiction, essays, and translations of plays have appeared in magazines and journals nationwide. In the early 1990s, he received much of his theatrical training in Paris, working at the Theatre Ange Magnetique with Antoine Campo, training with Mamadou Dioume of Peter Brook’s Theater Company, and working with numerous LeCoq trained artists. He founded foolsFURY Theater Company in 1998 in San Francisco.

Established in Paris in 1884, Alliance Française is the official center of French language and culture. Alliance Française de San Francisco is one of 1,085 Alliances that have been established in more than 138 countries worldwide.