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Friday, January 18, 2019

In Context: Ionesco Suite

Photo: Jean Luis Fernandez

A feat of repartee and wordplay from acclaimed director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota and Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, Ionesco Suite comprises excerpts from the following plays: The Bald Soprano; The Lesson; Frenzy for Two, or More; Jack, or The Submission; and French Conversation and Diction Exercises for American Students, allowing audieno experience principal scenes and taste the tragicomic stylings of playwright Eugène Ionesco. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #Ionescosuite.

Program Notes

Ionesco Suite (PDF)


Notes on Ionesco Suite From Its Actors and Creators (BAMblog)
The actors and creators of Ionesco Suite provided texts of their own reflecting on their own experiences bringing the suite to the stage.

An Interview With Eugene Ionesco (The Harvard Crimson)
Art’s relation to politics, Ionesco’s “total lack of methodology,” and the importance of literature figure heavily in this 1978 interview with the playwright.

Eugene Ionesco, The Art of Theater No. 6 (The Paris Review, subscription required)
An interviewer sat with the Ionesco in the drawing room of his home in Paris in 1984 and discussed his origins, French poetry, and the influence of surrealism and psychoanalysis in his work.

‘The Impossibility of Theatre:’ An Interview with Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota (HuffPost)
Ionesco Suite director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota on his approach to production and theatre and what keeps drawing him to Ionesco’s plays.

Eugene Ionesco Is Dead at 84; Stage's Master of Surrealism (New York Times)
This insightful and extensive obituary includes a quote from Ionesco, written in his 20s, on why he wrote: "To allow others to share in the astonishment of being, the dazzlement of existence, and to shout to God and other human beings our anguish, letting it be known that we were there."

Watch & Listen

Interview with Eugene Ionesco (YouTube)
This three-part interview filmed in 1961 touches on everything from Ionesco’s childhood and other aspects of his biography to his feelings on politics, philosophy, and literature. 

Ionesco, Voodoo and Therapy (The Moth)
As if Ionesco’s work wasn’t surreal enough, this episode of The Moth includes the true first-person tale of a high school student attempting to pass an Ionesco play off as his own.

Now your turn...

How did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what’s on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #Ionescosuite.

© 2018 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.


  1. It was VERY hot in the theatre.

  2. Brilliant concept, actors, and performance. First part is a classic! Come back. Amir

  3. My wife and I were very appreciative for this show's humor and the wonderful actors. Theatre of the Absurd can at times be heavy handed and nihilistic, making it tough to experience. That was not the case in this production.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. You are blessed with a fine crew who loves to take part in the play and have fun with it. I recently discovered your blog and have made my way through 20 blogs already.

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