The Lesson

Play reading at The Rep
January 23, 2013 at 7:30
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, at, at Amavida coffee or by calling 231-0733.

by Eugene Ionesco
the-lessonThe Lesson (FrenchLa Leçon) is a one-act play by Eugène Ionesco. It was first performed in 1951 in a production directed byMarcel Cuvelier (who also played the Professor).[1] Claude Mansard played the Maid and Rosette Zuchelli played the Pupil in that production. Since 1957 it has been in permanent production at Paris’ Théâtre de la Huchette, on an Ionesco double-bill withThe Bald Soprano.[2] The play has been regarded as an important work of what some critics have called the “Theatre of the Absurd.”

The play takes place in the office and dining room of a small French flat. The Professor, a man of about 50 to 60, is expecting a new Pupil (aged 18). The Professor’s Maid, a stout, red-faced woman of about 40 to 50, worries about the Professor’s health. As the absurd and nonsensical lesson progresses, the Professor grows more and more angry with (what he perceives as) the Pupil’s ignorance, and the Pupil becomes more and more quiet and meek. Even her health begins to deteriorate, and what starts as a toothache develops into her entire body aching. At the climax of the play, the Pupil is stabbed and murdered by the Professor, after a long bout of non sequiturs (which are frequently used in Ionesco’s plays). The play ends with the Maid greeting a new Pupil, taking the play full circle, back to the beginning.

Here’s a link for a video interview w Ionesco
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