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Sortie théâtre des 2°8 : "Out of the dark"

jeudi 3 mai 2012

Suite à leur atelier théâtre et à la préparation de cette sortie dans le cadre du cours d’anglais, les élèves de 2°8 se sont rendus à la MJC de Palaiseau pour voir la pièce Out of the Dark, créée et mise en scène par la compagnie Fools and feathers et interprétée par Sophie Brech et Louis Fortier. Dans les articles suivants, certains d’entre eux ont choisi de présenter Helen Keller et Ann Sullivan, les personnages réels dont cette pièce est inspirée, d’autres nous ont livré leurs impressions sur divers aspects de la pièce et de sa mise en scène.

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s relationship

The help of only one person can change the whole life of another.

Helen Keller was born on the 27th of June, 1880 in a small rural town in the United States of America. At the age of 19 months old she contracted a fever that left her deaf, dumb and blind. She was considered mentally disabled until her parents engaged Anne Sullivan to be her teacher. She belonged to a wealthy family. She suffered much from her handicap, she had the feeling of being excluded .
Anne Sullivan was a young women born on April 14th ,1866 who, at the age of 3 years old, contracted an eye disease called trachoma which left her almost blind.She underwent many surgeries but they were unsuccessful. In 1880 she entered a school for blind people and a medical institution where she managed to regain some of her eyesight thanks to another operation. On March 3rd 1887, she met Helen Keller for the first time and she dedicated her whole life teaching her.

Helen Keller couldn’t communicate with people and was very frustrated until Anne Sullivan taught her how to communicate with her body. Through lip reading she taught her to speak, and by writing words into the palm of Helen Keller’s hand, she taught her many words which she associated to objects. By the age of 10 Helen had learned to read, write and speak thanks to body language. At 20 years-old she attended Radcliffe College and with the help of Anne Sullivan who spelled all her books with an incredible patience, she was able to graduate. Helen Keller dedicated her life to helping other blind and deaf people as Anne Sullivan had done for her.

To our mind , this story is more than interesting , it’s a wonderful example of courage. It’s a moving story which gives hope to handicaped people. It’s incredible that Helen Keller could write a book despite her handicap.

Thanks to Anne Sullivan who devoted her life to her , Helen Keller overcame her handicap and went out of her “no world”.

Morgane & Naïma

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s relationship

Helen Keller was born on June 27th 1880, in the United States of America. When she was a baby she contracted a disease that left her deaf, dumb and blind in a world of darkness. Her parents engaged Anne Sullivan to be a teacher, to help her to communicate because people thought she was mentally disabled. When she was 7 years-old, Helen started learning to speak through lip-reading thanks to Anne who helped her by writing words on her palm. Next, when Helen was 10 years-old, she finally learned how to read, write and speak. Despite her handicap, she managed to get into university with the help of Anne. When Helen was older, she wrote many books as “The story of my life’’ which is the most famous.

Anne Sullivan was born on April 14th 1866 and died in 1936. When Anne was a child, she contracted an eye disease (trachoma) which left her almost blind. She had many surgeries but they all failed. On March 3rd 1887 she met Helen for the first time. From that moment, she devoted her whole life to teaching Helen Keller.

Helen and Anne had a such strong relationship for several reasons :
First, they were both blind. Then, they both changed each other’s life, indeed, they fought together for the education of blind people. Anne was the only one who could help Helen to learn, Helen wouldn’t have learnt so much without her.

This story deals with a fight for freedom, a close friendship that changed
Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s lives forever and it’s really noteworthy, that’s why Mona and I found Helen Keller’s life interesting : it’s not an ordinary story.

Mona Galmane 2°8
Mathilde Bonardi

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s relationship

Helen Keller had an incredible story. She was born in the United States of America on June 27th 1880. When she was 19 months old, her parents discovered that she had a handicap. Some years later, they decided to engage a teacher to help their daughter. It was Anne Sullivan, a woman born on April 14th 1866, who had an eye disease like Helen Keller. She was able to understand the young girl and to teach her . Although Helen Keller was blind, dumb and deaf, she managed to communicate with other people.

The two women had a really close relationship. Indeed, Anne Sullivan spent most of her life with Helen Keller. She was blind too, therefore she could know what Helen felt. Anne taught her a method to understand what people said : she put her fingers on people’s lips, that’s how she could feel the vibration of the voice. As Anne was strict with her, Helen learnt faster. Anne dedicated her life to this girl she hardly knew, moreover she never gave up.

This story was interesting and moving because Helen was doomed to stay in a dark and silent world. With the help of one woman, her determination and her patience, she got out of her “no world”.
Madina and Marie-Jeanne

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan’s relationship

Helen Keller was born on June 27th, 1880 in the U.S.A. As a result of a fever at the age of 19 months she became deaf,dumb and blind. She started to live in a completely dark world and couldn’t communicate with anybody. At the age of seven, with the help of Anne Sullivan, Helen started to learn a sign language which helped her to be understood.
Anne Sullivan was born on April 14th, 1866 and died in 1936. Like Helen she was blind but contrary to her she had several operations which were finally successful. Therefore she knew how it was to be blind, but she wasn’t any more. This way, she started teaching Helen in March 1887 and did it all her life.
Helen and Anne had a special relationship. For Helen, Anne was a new hope which made her discover all her intelligence. During a long and hard learning, Helen realized that she wasn’t alone in her own world and that she could communicate.
There was a very strong link between the two girls because Anne was quite strict with Helen. But finally the result was positive.
To conclude, Anne was a real turn in Helen’s life.
We didn’t especially enjoy the way the book was written. However, Helen is a quite amazing woman because she fought all her life against her handicap.
She gives us a great life lesson.

HERONDART Dorian
LEGAULT Simon

Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan : A True Friendship

Ann Sullivan and Helen Keller were tightly linked because they lived quite the same hard childhood. How did they manage to get out of the dark ? What was their relationship like ?

Helen Keller was born into a wealthy family in the state of Alabama. When she was just a baby, she contracted a disease, a fever which made her blind, deaf and dumb.
When her parents understood her handicap they took a long time before hiring a woman to help their daughter to grow up like any other girl. Indeed, they couldn’t help her to overcome her handicap by themselves.

Like Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan was blind for a part of her life. Yet she underwent many surgeries which permitted her to recover her sight she had lost many years before. She was about twenty years old when Helen’s parents decided to hire her. They chose her because she had been to college and she had been blind during her childhood, just like their daughter.
Thanks to the hard work of Anne, Helen learnt to read (braille), to understand the world surrounding her, and to express herself. As a result, the two women became close friends, they were as sisters : they both had a really hard beginning in their lives but they struggled and finally they got out of the darkness, a physical darkness for Anne but also a mental darkness for Helen.

Was it Fate, or just a coincidence ? We will never know …
When we first read this story, we really took a great lesson of humanity. This is a unique tale, that we can hardly believe since it seems impossible. We recommend it to you, to share this unforgettable true story which is worth reading.

Arnaud & Florent

Out Of The Dark

The play was performed at the MJC of Palaiseau by Louis, Sophie, a member of the audience and George. The story is indirectly about Helen Keller, told by Philip, a blind man who was played by Louis. He was interviewed by Kate in her TV show : Up Late With Kate. George was the technician in charge of lights, sound effects and music.

At the beginning, we were expecting Louis and Sophie to play Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. We were quite surprised to see them play other characters. The play was very original because there were two parallel stories : what we see in the show and the personal story of Philip who went blind because of a car accident, and Kate who is going blind and who is helped by Philip to overcome her future handicap.

The only problem is that if you already know who Helen Keller is, you will get bored during the beginning of the TV show part, however if you don’t know anything about Helen Keller it will be difficult for you to understand the part about her (when they talked about her, and little movie extracts about her life on a screen at the background).

In conclusion, that play is good without being excellent.

Paul Capdenat Christy
Arthur Kasperzec

THE PLAY : UNEXPECTED ELEMENTS

On Friday night, we saw a play about Helen Keller called « Out of the dark » . Lots of unexpected things surprised us, and because of that original staging, we didn’t learn much about Helen Keller, for example.

We thought that the play would be like a typical theatre play which would deal with Helen Keller. However the play was like a TV show with its host called Kate. There was a screen with “On Air” written on it. Moreover there were some applause noises and light effects.
There was interaction with the public. Indeed a boy called Quentin went on stage and played a little game which was about the senses, especially the olfactory sense. While there were applause sounds, the public clapped too.
What struck us was that the play was based on Helen Keller but Phillip, one of the main characters, was only blind. We thought that one of the character would be like Helen Keller. Maybe he could have been blind, deaf and dumb, and it would have been more interesting. Maybe Philip could have been more energetic, as when we met him during our drama workshop.
There was not so much body language, except the scene when Kate and Phillip dance together.
The story of Philip was parallel to Helen’s story, it was a bit similar because they suffered from an illness which made them blind. On the stage, there were two stories, one with the TV show (Philip talks about his book and his past) and the other was about a love story between Kate and Philip.
We didn’t learn much about Helen Keller but there were some videos of her, like the scene when she learns how to spell “water” in the movie about her.

Even if the play contained lots of unexpected elements, “Out of the dark” won us over completely. It was entertaining and new, modern. Instead of a typical play, it was a bit like a TV show, it was a surprising experience.

AXOU TROTROPIERROT LEMOINEAU

Out of the Dark, a surprising play

We went to the theatre to see Fools and Feathers company’s new play, Out of the Dark. We really enjoyed this play inspired from the story of Helen Keller which mixed play on stage and film extracts. Let us introduce it.

This play was written, staged and interpreted by two fantastic people, Sophie Brech and Louis Fortier.
A part of the play is staged like a TV show whereas the rest of the play is more conventional.

But first, we must present the characters. Kate, played by Sophie, is the host of the TV show called Uplate with Kate. She has a disease which will leave her blind in a near future.
As for Philip, played by Louis, he lost his wife and his sense of sight in a car accident 12 years before his meeting with Kate. He is the writer of the book Out of the Dark which tells the story of Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan.
There are three parallel stories in the play. First, the TV show, Uplate with Kate, in which Louis is the guest. It’s in this part that we can learn about Helen Keller’s life. Then, the evolution of Kate’s disease and Philip’s devotion to help her and finally the love story between Kate and Philip.

The roles were not easy to play because of the handicap of the characters but their way of playing was perfect and it won us over. They included the audience in the play thanks to the TV show and the participation of a volunteer, one of our friends. This play was very surprising because we thought it would be only the life story of Helen Keller.

We particulary enjoyed the atmosphere created by the lights, the music, the sound effects and mostly the play between Philip and his wife’s ghost.

We really liked this play, the actors were exceptional, there was a lot of emotion, sensitivity, fun although the end was difficult to understand.
We advise you to go to the theatre as soon as possible to see this play.

B.Dekeyzer and G.Laprévote for thetimes.co.uk

Out Of The Dark, The play

On Friday 6th January 2012, we went to Palaiseau to see the theatre play Out of The Dark. When we arrived in the theatre, one of the actors of the play, Sophie Brech came to us and shook our hands telling us “Welcome to Palaiseau’s television studio !”. Then, just before the beginning of the play, she informed us that everything was filmed. The stage became dark and we heard the theme song of a TV programme called “Up late with Kate”.
None of us expected such a staging : we thought it was going to be like in the film we had seen in class, that they were actually going to play Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller’s story. That’s why we were very surprised when we understood it was the story of Kate, the host of a TV show who is going blind and Philip, her guest, the author of the book “Out Of The Dark” about Helen Keller, who lost his sight and his wife in a car accident. It was very original and some of the students thought it was really filmed although it was not.
To make the play even more lively, they chose to integrate sound and light effects. For instance, we sometimes heard heartbeats, and when we were back to the TV show, we heard the theme song. There were also three big white screens on which were projected film extracts and shadows.
This play was very different from what we expected ; moreover it was very interesting and we learnt a few new things about Helen Keller. Still, there were moments we didn’t completely understand such as when they danced at the end. Anyway, we really enjoyed the play and had a very nice evening with the actors Louis Fortier and Sophie Brech.

Claire VELTEN & Samuel SIROT 2de8

Out of the dark

This play was staged as a TV show : Kate, the host of the show, invites Philip, a man who wrote a book about the life of Helen Keller.
He had an accident and now he is blind and Kate knows that she wil become blind too.
They fall in love…

Although the setting was very simple (3 white screens behind two chairs), they used sounds (there wasapplause) and lights (for example they turned off the light when there was a pause in the show). It wasn’t very complicated things, however it was well done : it contributed to creating an atmosphere.
From the moment we got into the theatre we thought it was a real TV show because the actors created the same atmosphere as a TV set.
There were some extracts of the film “The Miracle Worker” which deals with the childhood of Helen Keller and how she learned to communicate and moreover, we saw some real pictures of H.Keller. And these films were well integrated in the staging and they could even help us to understand the play.

The actors interacted with the audience and they built a relationship with us, besides, what was really interesting for a theatre play is the fact that the actors called someone in the audience to play a sense game.
We both liked the play in general and yet we felt that it was a bit short. The actors were incredible : they showed us that Helen Keller’s life was full of love and hope.
Sylvain Durey & Clément Revéco

OUT OF THE DARK

On Friday the 6th of January, we went to the MJC of Palaiseau where we saw a play called Out of the Dark. The two main characters, Kate and Philip, were played by Sophie BRECH and Louis FORTIER, who had given us a drama class a few weeks before in our own school.

The story takes place during a TV show. The host of this show, Kate, invites Philip, a blind writer to speak about his book and his inspiration - Helen Keller who was blind too. He introduces Helen Keller to the public through films projected on screens. As a result we learn more about her life. But, during the performance, we understand that Kate is going blind too. Therefore the two characters get closer as Philip manages to help her to overcome her handicap. Despite their blindness, they fall in love.

The sound effects, the light and the music made us feel as if we were watching a film, they were well integrated in the play and prevented us from being bored. For example the shadow of Philip’s dead wife was very moving and showed very well the difficulty he had to get over that loss. Moreover, the lights went on and off, it stressed us but it made the show energetic.

Body language wasn’t used very much but when they danced together, it expressed their passionate love. Not many props were used, only two chairs were on the stage.

Although the staging was original and surprising, we enjoyed the play. The fact that the show didn’t deal only with Helen Keller was an unexpected element, however if we hadn’t known anything about Helen Keller, we wouldn’t have understood everything.
It was a very interesting experience and we think that most of the spectators loved this show.

Emeline & Alix

THE PLAY

Friday night, our class went to see an English performance called “Out of the Dark”. It is the story of Philip and Kate. He is blind, she is going blind. It is inspired of Helen Keller’s life. Today, we are going to talk about the lights, the music, the sounds effects and particularly, how they contributedto creating an atmosphere.

Thanks to the shadow effects, loud sounds and a solemn piece of music, we believed that we were in Philip’s “No World” atmosphere. The scenes of the TV show were full of bright spotlights, however we could feel the seriousness of the situation.
When Kate was blindfolded, the whole stage was in the darkness. Besides, the atmosphere was represented by sounds like the sounds of the window, or the barking of a dog, or the singing of birds.
There were three screens which could be moved. The characters were slaloming between them. Some short moments of Helen Keller’s life were projected to help the audience to understand how Helen Keller managed to communicate in spite of her handicap.
Philip’s dead wife was sometimes represented as a shadow on one of the screens. At the end, we heard a music of joy while the two characters were dancing together, to express the love between them.
During the performance, the music, the sounds and the lights changed with the characters’emotions and their story.

Julia RAGE and Clément MARIE

* Out of the Dark *

Last Friday, we saw an unexpected play, Out of the Dark. The original staging, the very good actors (Louis Fortier Sophie Brech and George) and the game with the audience won us over.

This is about Philip, a blind author and Kate, the host of the show “up late with Kate”, who is losing her sight. The play is divided into two parts : the show, in which Philip speaks about Helen Keller, the subject of his book, and the evolution of Kate and Philip’s relationship.
To be more believable, Louis Fortier plays with closed eyes and Kate is a fantastic and sensitive guide. The two actors move on the stage slowly but trustfully.

The idea of the show is excellent and thanks to it the audience feels part of the show. Moreover, the actors interacted with the audience, inviting a spectator on stage.
During the play, although there were a lot of students, the audience was calm, interested, and the English was easy to understand, on top of it.

Finally, there is a good mix between the lights, the music, the performanceof the actors and the video effects (for example the shadow of Philip’s dead wife). At one moment of the show, Philip proposes an experience : the audience listens to short piece of music as a deaf person does.

However we won’t tell you all the secrets of this awesome play. To know them you have to go see, Out of The Dark at the MJC of Palaiseau.

J. Descroix and J. Badiche

OUT OF THE DARK

Last Friday night, we went to see the play « Out of the Dark » which was played in Palaiseau.
We really enjoyed the play, however we noticed many unexpected elements ; so, in this article, we have chosen to talk about the unexpected elements of the performance, and to give our personnal opinion about it.

First of all, we didn’t expect the piece to be played as a TV show ; moreover, we didn’t think we’d participate as we did during these two hours : as a real public of a TV show !
Then, and it was very unexepected, Louis and Sophie, contrary to what they had told us weren’t playing Anne Sullivan’s and Helen Keller’s characters, but the host of a TV show (Kate) and a blind writer (Louis)…
Also, there was a real use of the sounds and light effects, and the only setting was three white screens and two chairs : it was really quiete simple, still, with the musical and visual effects, it became really moving, although some people found it boring.

Finally, we didn’t learn anything about Helen Keller’s life, except she was madly in love and tried to run away with her lover ; as a conclusion, the unexpected elements of the play made it still better and made us have a greater moment. What’s more, it was really well-played and understandable, and it was very pleasant.

Léa & Antoine

Out of the dark

We went to see the play “Out of the dark” played by Louis and Sophie who had come to our school earlier this year. The play was set as a TV show in “Palaiseau studio” and the host of the show (Kate) had invited a blind man (Philip).

To our mind, the play was well played, however, we think that there were quite a few mistakes or elements that the actors shouldn’t have done.
In fact, the staging was good but, at the beginning, it was hard to understand that they weren’t going to play the roles of Ann Sullivan and Helen Keller. Indeed, we expected them to play those roles, nothing else ! It was a good way of staging the play anyway !
Another fact, is that we actually didn’t expect AT ALL that Kate was going blind.
A really good point was the way in which the lights and the screens for the movie excerpts were made. Moreover, the way they played two parts, the part “ON AIR” and the part “off the stage” was really good, in the part on air, we learnt Philip’s story, and in the part off the stage, we got to learn the feelings Kate and Philip had for each other, how they had met, and most of all, that Kate was going blind (as a matter of fact, she knew that she had an incurable disease and that she soon would be blind)
It was very easy for us to understand the whole play, it was easy to catch up when you missed a bit ! Still quite a few girls of the class didn’t actually understand that we weren’t being filmed !
At the beginning, Sophie made us feel confident with the place, by coming up and saying hello to us and welcoming us in the theatre, she was already in her role, we didn’t recognize her at first ! The costumes were simple and they weren’t overdone….just good enough for the actors’ roles.
Louis told us at the end that while he was playing a blind person, his eyes were closed on the stage. To our mind, it must be hard to play a full play with your eyes closed !
We think that if Louis and Sophie hadn’t come to Rabelais earlier on, we wouldn’t have been able to understand the play as well as we did.

To conclude, we all came out delighted with what we had seen, it was a beautiful story, full of romance, and everyone in our class had a great time, the two of us first ! Thanks to Louis and Sophie for their amazing work.

Malo Fage and Arnaud Fournier

Article about « Out of the dark »

Last friday night, we saw a play called “Out of the dark” at the MJC of Palaiseau.
We all thought the actors would play Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, however they decided to talk about blindness by doing a TV programme which was “Up late with Kate”. Sophie Brech played the host of the show, Kate, and Louis Fortier played Philip, a blind man invited for the show. Philip, the blind man, was the author of “Out of the Dark”, a book about blindness, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. The play is also about Philip and Kate’s love stories and about the fact that Kate is going blind. Philip really helped her to accept her handicap and to become stronger.
The actors were really believable, we were really in the story, they knew their text by heart, so they didn’t have any hesitation. Moreover, Louis played with his eyes closed, as if he was a real blind man, which made us believe in his story even more. The relation with the audience was quite good : they chose someone in the public to play a game. This boy was blindfolded and he had to guess objects or food that Kate and Philip gave him.
The public was really quiet, calm and reactive : we clapped a lot when there were breaks whereas there was no sound in the public while the actors were playing.
The costumes were normal clothes, that we could wear everyday and Philip also had a stick and sunglasses to play the blind man. They were true to the period of the show : the XXIst century. The setting was modest : there were only three screens on the stage, where we could watch some moments of Arthur Penn’s movie about Helen Keller. There were also three stools on the stage. The light and the sound effects were made by George, the technician. The light was really bright and the sound effects were really joyful during the TV show, but it was really more quiet and dramatic when Philip was talking about his accident or his blindness and when Kate understood that she would become blind too.
The way the actors were talking was understandable but sometimes we didn’t understand why the actors were dancing or imitating a plane.
We really enjoyed this play ; it was a very good idea to do a TV show and to create two parallel stories : one about Philip and Kate’s story and the other one about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.

For all those reasons, we found the play really good, and the actors too !!! The only thing we regretted is that we didn’t learn anything new about Helen Keller.

Mathilde Blanco et Clémence Laburthe-Tolra

Out of the dark

Last Friday night, we saw a theater play called “Out of the dark”. We had had a presentation of this play by the two main actors. That’s why we knew lots of things before seeing the performance. The play was built as a TV show which was hosted by Kate. The guest of the show was Philip, a blind man, who wrote a book named “Out of the dark”. The subject of the book was Helen Keller, a blind and deaf woman of the 20th century. There are two parallel stories in the plot : first the TV show and then a love story between Kate and Philip. The fact is that Kate is going blind day after day because of an incurable disease. We learn at the same time that Philip became blind as a result of a car accident in which he lost his wife and his sight. Philip survived thanks to his discovery of Helen Keller.
The setting was made of three large white screens on which a few film extracts were projected. There were also two stools. Kate wore a short black dress and red glasses ; Philip wore a black suit and sunglasses. Some props were used : a white stick for Philip…
Lights were projected on the white screens too, often warm colors. Therefore there was a reassuring atmosphere. Yet the atmosphere could also be stressful because of the music and sounds like heart beating.
Everyone of us understood the play quite well since we had studied Helen Keller’s life in class. However we knew too much about her. So several students were a bit disappointed. If we had learnt less about Helen Keller, we would have appreciated the performancemore.
We were very surprised by the idea of the TV show. Indeed nobody expected that. Some of us were unsettled. The actors were very believable (of course Philip was not blind, but he played with his eyes closed). There was an interaction between the audience and the actors during the moments of the TV show.
For all the reasons that we have just mentioned, we liked this play. It was a good exercise because it was an English play. Several students think that it could have been longer.

Guillaume SOUDAIS and Pierre MICHEL

OUT OF THE DARK

On Friday the sixth of January, we went to the MJC of Palaiseau to see the second performance of the play “Out of the Dark”. This theatre performance is inspired by the life of Helen Keller.

This extraordinary woman who lived at the turn of the 20th century suffered from a disease at the age of 19 months which left her deaf and blind. With the constant help of Anne Sullivan, she managed to graduate and even write a book about her story. She travelled around the world, gave many lectures, and was considered one of the most important women of the 20th century.

Presented as a TV show called “Up late with Kate”, the play was about the story of Philip, the author of Out of the Dark, a book about Helen Keller’s life. This middle-aged man had a car accident twelve years ago which made him lose his wife and his sight. He falls in love with Kate, the host of the TV performance…

There were three actors on stage who played Kate, Philip and George, the technician. Louis (Philip) played his blind character with his eyes closed. There was also a strong relationship with the audience, the actors were really clear and believable. Thanks to that we understood the play quite easily.

In our opinion, it was really original and well-played thanks to Louis and Sophie.

Etienne and Avner


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