Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel

VIDEO OF THE PLAY  here and not anymore under the watch buttons

FUGATO LABILE FOR CAMILLE CLAUDEL was produced in Bucharest and in Brussels in 2017. My friend and wonderful actress Liana Ceterchi played the part of Camille.

Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel was a treat. See what some audience said when They talked about it.  Watch now the Vimeo of the whole play: click “watch trailer” at the top of this page.  “Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel” can be invited to be on your stage.  Contact us.

Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel was a world premiere (2014) written by Vermonter Georgette Garbès Putzel; it was first presented at THE OFF CENTER for the Dramatic Arts in Burlington  (294 North Winooski Avenue #116c  Burlington, VT 05401Transit: No. Winooski Avenue at Archibald Street)

Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel was presented  in English, then in French, back to back each evening.

Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel is a one act, one actress play composed, designed, choreographed and performed by Georgette Garbes Putzel with the participation of one movement performer, one musician Live, recorded voices, projection of Camille’s sculptures,  a visual by Gabe Albright, and the Core Team at TMM.

TMM thanks: Accordionist Michel Lajeunesse (who interpreted live his own creations written for the play), movement performer Felicia Plumley (on stage), visual creator of “final scene particles” by Gabe Albright, and the recorded voices of: Angelica McLennan (Camille’s mother), Bob Robbins (Minister of Fine Arts), Emmanuel Tissot (Pottecher), Henry Weinstock (Asselin), Jean marie Rabot (Camille’s father), Karen Kane (Maria, friend of Camille), Laura Roald (commentaries), Polly Connell (Madame Montavox), Roger Putzel ( Rodin and Docteur Truelle), Scott Thomson (Blot), Steven Pite (cousin Charles).
The author is using Camille Claudel’s own words for this play. The sister of famous playwright Paul Claudel, and lover & student of famous sculptor Rodin, young Camille’s sculptures soon surpassed her famous teacher’s. Born in a wealthy bourgeois family, she was joyful, truthful, dedicated to her art, indifferent to the games of high society: a free spirit with unacceptable lifestyle at the time and in her milieu. She was born a century too early. She was born happy and creative. She died lonely and miserable. Why? “Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel” is a true story of love, art and the challenges of being different. Music composed and interpreted Live by Vermont musicians: violin, tabla and accordion.”

Camille Claudel new Alphonse Daudet (Les lettres de mon moulin) and Debussy.  In the play she will thank Marcel Schwob for his book “The Book of Monelle“.  M. Schwob influenced a generations of great writers from Guillaume Apollinaire and Jorge Luis Borges to Roberto Bolaño, as well as Paul Valery, Alfred Jarry and the surrealist photographer Claude Cahun.  Marcel Schwob helped Camille sell her sculptures.

Camille Claudel had her last studio Quai Bourbon, Paris, from 1899 till 1913 when she was taken away to insane asylums, by her mother, her sister and her brother Paul Claudel, renown poet, dramatist and diplomat. “March 11, 1913: 2 maniacs enter my home, Quai Bourbon, grab me by the elbows, throw me out of the window of my studio”. Camille Claudel.

On March 11 of 1913, Camille Claudel was interned by her mother, her brother the famous Paul Claudel, and her sister at the insane asylum of Ville Evrard, near Paris. In 1914 (German troops entered Paris) she was sent to the Montdevergues asylum in South of France, where she spent the last 30 years of her life, from 1914 to her death in 1943. The author visited the two asylums, Ville Evrard and Montdevergues, in 2012 while writing the play: “Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel” to which you are invited in March 2014.

Words can hurt. At the museum Les Arcades at the Montdevergues asylum, one can read some of these words written on the tiles of the floor of a little patio. (TMM offers you an English version of the tiles). When preparing for the writing of “Fugato Labile for Camille Claudel” I visited the museum and, with their permission, took some pictures of the tiles.  It is about engaging our empathy towards the inmate’s situation and provoke thought about individual differences and exclusion.  The tiles have a consciousness raising role.  It is about the demystification of  psychiatry in general.  We are lead to thinking more deeply about it.  The museum allows the hospital to be a place for care, for life and for creativity.  It opens up for us new reflections on how society perceives madness and mentally ill people.  It exposes how healthcare for the mentally ill has evolved.

Séraphine (You have seen the movie), Camille and 40 to 50 thousand other famine victims died in France under the German occupation during WWII. Both artists, Séraphine and Camille never met.  Both exploited.  Both abandoned.  Séraphine (Séraphine de Senlis) died of hunger (1942) and possibly, like Camille, of cold. Camille Claudel died in 1943.

Miserable. February 1927. Camille writes to her mother, from Ville Evrard asylum: << My dear mother, I am late writing to you because it has been so cold, my legs don’t support me, I can’t go to the place where everybody is to write and where there is a pitiful fire, it’s bedlam; I have to stay in my room where it is so glacially cold that I have frostbite, my fingers tremble, I cannot hold the pen. I have not warmed up all winter; I am frozen to my bones, cut in half by the cold. One of my friends, a poor teacher from Lycée Fénelon who got stranded here, was found frozen to death in her bed. It is horrible.  You can’t imagine the cold of Montdevergues. And it goes on, and on and on, 7 months at a time. >>

Betrayed. 1915. Camille to her dear beloved little brother Paul, from Montdevergues asylum: << Do you think it’s fun for me to spend months, years like this, without any news, without any hope! Where does such ferocity come from? How can they make you turn away? >>

But spirited. April 1932. Camille to Paul: << I received them clappity clap, with my rheumatism on my knee, an old battered overcoat, an old hat from Samaritaine that covered my nose. Well, it was me; that’s how they will remember me the coming century>>

A genius born at the wrong place, wrong time, wrong family. 1932. Eugene Blot to Camille: <<Your sculpture, the supplicant, is the manifesto for modern sculpture.  You were finally free from Rodin’s influence, as grand in the inspiration as in the craft. With you we were going to quit the world of false appearances for the one of the thought >>


“Asterion” will be on stage again, March 2014, first in Spanish, followed by the English version, back to back each evening. Buy tickets for the show in March 2014.

En Español at the end of the English text.


“Asterion” is one of the names given to the Minotaur, the mythological figure half man half bull, condemn to spend his days trapped in a well-designed labyrinth. However, what happens when the labyrinth turns into a waiting room, and the myth into the body of an immigrant? Asterion talks about existing in two places: pas and present, dreams and memory, joy and fear. And with the help of Jorge Luis Borges, the play also inquires deeply about solitude, frustration, utopias and the numberless contradictions that form our own labyrinths and stories.”
~ Diego Mattos

“Asterion,” a tale of transformation, takes its name from a poem by renowned Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges.  Diego Mattos wrote this play in Vermont drawing on his own experience as an immigrant from Bolivia.
“Asterion is one of the names given to the Greek mythical figure of the Minotaur, the offspring of Pasiphae and a white-snow bull. Half man half bull, this monster is condemned by Minos, Pasiphae’s husband, to live in a labyrinth (designed by Daedalus). There he spends his days and nights, never seeing daylight, never seeing his sister Ariadne, only seeing terrified young men and women put in the labyrinth from time to time to be sacrificed. In the end Theseus kills the Minotaur Asterion and escapes the labyrinth holding Ariadne’s thread.
Asterion is also an immigrant, who exists somewhere between here and there, not past not present, always seeking a place to call home. We all live in personal labyrinths, and dealing with them can sometimes be painful, sometimes revealing. We all have left a place to which we have never returned, sometimes without realizing it.  Getting old, we migrate away from the child we used to be, the country we used to inhabit, telling them, ‘I’ll be back.’ But we never return. This play attempts to go back to a place I don’t remember.”  Diego Mattos, the author of Asterion.
Diego Mattos does remember his wife and children – for their patience during the preparation of Asterion.
The Team for ASTERION 2013 in alphabetical order: Andrew Albright: Stage tech & special effects designer. Beth Albright: Cashier and long-term supporter. Marita Canedo: Costume and set color advisor. Julian Chobot: Live guitar Saturday. Bill Ellis (guitar variations development) Brad Faucher: set construction. Kirk Fenegan: Live guitar Friday & Sunday and “frog” improv. Georgette Garbes Putzel: assistant director, acting director, special set and costume effects, poster-program designer, tech assistant. Diego Mattos: director, writer (using texts by Jorge Luis Borges, Augusto Monterosso, Mario Benedetti and Nicanor Parra), montage of the scenes, actor and charango player, music designer developing variations on “Fantasma de Canterville” by Charly Garcia, with the assistance of Phil Yates and Bill Ellis; and the assistance of Kirk Flanagan for the improvisation for the Frog scene. Lighting designer. Georgette Garbes Putzel (acting direction, artistic director, poster & program design, set and costume special effects designer. Lighting board operator) Roger Putzel (poster & program editing, assistant producer, mask operator). We work beyond our special skills.
On stage Diego Mattos plays the charango, a cute little instrument traditionally made of an armadillo shell, now, with different types of wood. It typically has five courses of 2 strings, but other variations exist.  The instrument was invented in the early 18th century at the Royal Audiencia of Charcas in present-day Bolivia. When the Spanish conquistadores came to South America, they brought the vihuela (an ancestor of the classical guitar) with them. It is not clear from which Spanish stringed instrument the charango is a direct descendant. It may have evolved from the vihuela, bandurria (mandolin), or the lute. Many stories tell how the charango originated, with its distinctive, diminutive armadillo sound box. One story says that the native musicians liked the sound the vihuela made but lacked technology to shape the wood. Another says that the Spaniards prohibited natives from practicing their ancestral music; they made a lute that they could easily hide under a poncho.   Be assured that the charango on stage in April of 2013 was not made of armadillo shell.

Mrs Warren’s Profession

“La Profession de Madame Warren,” Paris 2004.

“A satirical comedy denouncing the hypocrisy of late Victorian Britain, more relevant than ever in our era of increasing economic inequality and emphasis on appearances. After years at boarding school, Vivie is finally facing real life. She begins by meeting her mother, whom she hardly knows, the redoubtable Mrs. Warren. The two women, diametrically opposed, learn about each other, a process not without bruises. Two visions of the world clash: Vivie, a young, modern woman, a feminist before her time, demands a certain equality of the sexes and seeks independence by earning a living. To secure a place in Victorian society, Mrs. Warren, an upscale madam, has had to open houses of ill repute across Europe..”

See Photos gallery.

André Gide – Journal 1012 (John Simon – The Hudson Review – Theatre Chronicle – 1976)

“… in Mrs Warren’s Profession the theme was muckraking: Vivie Warren, fresh out of Cambridge, learns that her impoverished, abused mother had been driven into prostitution, whence she worked her way up to becoming co-owner of an international chain of brothels. Vivie can forgive her mother’s becoming a prostitute but not her turning capitalist exploiter of other prostitutes. So disgusted is Vivie by a world in which one or another kind of mass enslavement is the basis for the well being of the privileged few that she renounces men, marriage, and her mother and chooses to become first an actuary and eventually a lawyer, to immerse herself in honest and humanitarian work.”

The Bordello Business

Perhaps a contemporary Vivie would admire Mrs. Warren’s entrepreneurial talents more than did the socialist Shaw’s character a century ago. Far from picture windows with the wares displayed leaving little to the imagination, Mrs. Warren’s establishments were maisons closes, legal brothels of the 19th and early twentieth century where dalliance included as much music and dance as sex. Want to peek inside? Watch House of Tolerance, a Bertrand Bonello film at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Or, when next in Paris, visit the Museum of Eroticism (Musée de l’érotisme), a museum devoted to erotic art (72 Boulevard de Clichy, Pigalle). One floor is devoted to maisons closes.

The Pink Guide (Guide rose) of 1936, marketed by “Psst! Hey, Mister, you wan’ …?” contained 700 addresses of such establishments. In 19th century France the authorities issued « certificats de tolérance » to these establishments. Mrs. Warren seized a business opportunity because men were not permitted to manage them. Advertising: since medieval times a red light signaled their presence.

The French closed these maisons closes in 1946 – which increased demand in Belgium. Their legality these days only in northern Europe and, surprisingly, Switzerland makes one wonder whether any would be of interest to the Museum of Eroticism.

Actors: Catherine Domareki, Ethan Alrushe, Mary Scripps, Mathew Winston, Don Loeb.

Lights & Sound: Our wonderful and regretted Brad “Bear” Ingalls.

No Exit – Huis Clos

Lights designer: Regretted Brad “Bear” Ingalls

Director: Elisabeth Lehr

(TMM apologizes as it seems that the mention of our director had been missing for a while.  Elisabeth lives in Vermont and we hope that this mistake will be forgiven.)

At the light and sound board: Brad “Bear” Ingalls and Elisabeth Lehr.

Actors: Mary Scripp, Jeff Tolbert, Georgette Garbès Putzel

Movie soon available

Jean Paul Sartre on NO EXIT.   Preamble to the play recorded in 1965.  (Michel Conat et Michel Rybalka-Folio essays – Gallimard 1992)

“When one writes a play, there are always situational factors and deeper causes. The situation was that at the time I was writing No Exit, around 1943 and early 44, I had three friends and I wanted them to be in a play, a play written by me, without favoring one over another.  I mean, I wanted them always to stay together on stage.  I said to myself, “If one of them leaves the stage, he will think that the others have a better part at the time he leaves.”  And I said to myself, “How can we put three people together without ever make one leave and keep them on stage up to the end as if for eternity.  That’s when it came to me to place them in Hell and to have them each be the torturer of the two others.  So that was the situation. [..] But there were at the time more general concerns, and I wanted to express something else than just what the situation presented me with.  I wanted to say “Hell is other people.”  Now “Hell is other people” has always been misunderstood. People thought that by that I wanted to say that our relationships with others were always poisoned, that the relations were always hellish.  But I wanted to say something else.  I wanted to say that if our relationship with another person is twisted, vitiated, then the other person is our Hell.  Why?  Because other people are, deep down, what is the most important in us for our own knowledge of ourselves. When we think of ourselves, when we are trying to understand ourselves, in fact we are using the knowledge that the others already have about us.  We judge with the means that the others have, have given us to judge us.  Whatever I say about myself, other’s judgment always enters in it. Which means that if my relationships are bad, I am putting myself in total dependence on others.  And then indeed I am in Hell. And there are a great many people in the world who are in Hell because they depend too much on the judgment of others.  Now this does not mean that we can’t have different relationships with others.  It simply indicates the capital importance of other people for each of us.  The second thing I would like to say is that these people are not similar to us.  The 3 characters you will hear in “No Exit” are not like us: we are alive and they are dead. Of course, “daed” here symbolizes something.  What I meant to show is precisely that many people get into a rut of a series of habits or customs, that they have on them judgments which make them suffer but that they don’t even try to change.  And these people are like dead people in that they cannot break the frame of their worries, of their preoccupations and of their habits.  And that they often remain victims of judgments passed on them.  Furthermore they are cowards or are mean for example.  Once they start being cowardly, nothing comes along  to change their cowardice.  This is why they are dead; this is why.  It is a way of saying that it is a living death to be surrounded by the constant worry of judgments and of actions that we do not want to change.  Hence truly, as we are alive, I wanted to use absurdity to show the importance for us of freedom, that is to say the importance of replacing some actions by other actions.  Whatever circle of Hell we live in, I think that we are free to break out of it.  And if people do not break out, they are staying there by choice; hence they put themselves freely in Hell.  You see then: relationships with others, getting into a rut, and freedom  (freedom: the other side of the coin, barely hinted at [in the play]), these are the three themes of the play.  Remember this when you will hear “Hell is other people.”   J.P. Sartre, 1965.

Jean Paul Sartre nous explique Huis-Clos. Préambule à la pièce enregistrée en 1965.  (Michel Conat et Michel Rybalka – Folio essais – Gallimard 1992).

“Quand on écrit une pièce, il y a des causes occasionelles et des soucis profonds. La cause occasionelle c’est que, au oment où j’ai écrit Huis Clos, vers 1943 et début 44, j’avais trois amis et je voulais qu’ils jouent une pièce, une pièce de moi, sans avantager aucun d’eux.  C’est à dire, je voulais qu’ils restent ensemble tout le temps sur la scène.  parce que je me disais, s’il y en a un qui s’en va, il pensera que les autres ont un meilleur rôle au moment où il s’en va.  je voulais donc les garder ensemble. Et je me suis dit, comment peut-on mettre ensemble trois personnes sans jamais faire sortir l’une d’elles et les garder sur la scène jusqu’au bout comme pour l’éternité.  C’est là que m’est venue l’idée de les mettre en enfer et de les faire chacun le bourreau des deux autres.  Telle est la cause occasionnelle.  Par la suite d’ailleurs, je dois dire, ces trois amis n’ont pas joué la pièce et, comme vous le savez c’est Vtold, tania Balachova et Gaby Sylvia qui l’ont jouée.  Mais il y avait à ce moment-là des soucis plus généraux et j’ai voulu exorimer autre chose dans la pièce que simplement ce que l’occasion me donnait. J’ai voulu dire: l’enfer, c’est les autres.  Mais “l’enfer, c’est les autres” a toujours été mal compris.  On a cru que je voulais dire par là que nos rapports avec les autres étaient toujours empoisonnés, que c’étaient toujours des raports infernaux. Or, c’est autre chose que je veux dire.  Je veux dire que si les rapports avec autrui sont tordus, viciés, alors l’autre ne peut être que l’enfer.  Pourquoi? Parce que les autres sont au fond ce qu’il y a de plus important en nous-mêmes pour notre propre connaissance de nous-mêmes.  Quand nous pensons sur nous, quand nous essayons de nous connaître, au fond nous usons ces connaissances que les autres ont déjà sur nous.  Nous nous jugeons avec les moyens que les autres ont, nous ont donné de nous juger.  Quoique je dise sur moi, toujours le jugement d’autrui entre dedans.  Ce qui veut dire que, si mes rapports sont mauvais, je me mets dans la totale dépendance d’autrui.  Et alors en effet je suis en enfer.  Et il existe une quantité de gens dans le monde qui sont en enfer parce qu’ils dépendent trop du jugement d’autrui.  Mais cela ne veut nullement dire qu’on ne puisse avoir d’autres rapports avec les autres.  ca marque simplement l’importance capitale de tous les autres pour chacun de nous.  Deuxième chose que je voudrais dire, c’est que ces gens ne sont pas semblables à nous.  Les trois personnages que vous entendrez dans HuisClos ne nous ressemblent pas en ceci que nous sommes vivants et qu’ils sont morts.  Bien entendu, ici “morts” symbolise quelque chose. Ce que j’ai voulu indiquer, c’est précisément que beaucoup de gens sont encroûtés dans une série d’habitudes, de coutumes, qu’ils ont sur eux des jugements dont ils souffrent mais qu’ils ne cherchent même pas à changer.  Et que ces gens-là sont comme morts.  En ce sens qu’ils ne peuvent briser le cadre de leurs soucis, de leurs préoccupations et de leurs coutumes: et qu’ils restent ainsi victimes souvent des jugements qu’on a porté sur eux.  A partir de là, il est bien évident qu’ils sont lâches ou méchants par exemple.  S’ils ont commencé à être lâches, rien ne vient changer le fait qu’ils étaient lâches.  C’est pour cela qu’ils sont morts, c’est pour cela, c’est une manière de dire que c’est une mort vivante que d’être entouré par le souci perpétuel de jugements et d’actions que l’on ne veut pas changer.  De sorte que, en vérité, comme nous sommes vivants, j’ai voulu montrer par l’absurde l’importance chez nous de la liberté, c’est à dire l’importance de changer les actes par d’autres actes.  Quel que soit le cercle d’enfer dans lequel nous vivons, je pense que nous sommes libres de le briser.  Et si les gens ne le brisent pas, c’est encore librement qi’ils y restent, de sorte qu’ils se mettent librement en enfer.  Vous voyez donc que, rapports avec les autres, encroûtement et liberté, (liberté comme l’autre face à peine suggérée), ce sont les trois thèmes de la pièce.  Je voudrais qu’on se le rappelle quand vous entendrez dire << l’enfer c’est les autres >>.

J.P. Sartre., 1965.

A Visit from Miss Prothero

    A slice of life magnified.  Funny, touching, true.  Two people at a critical point in life: one retired, the other soon to be retired.  But Alan Bennett’s sharp and compassionate observation pulls us beyond the specifics of a situation, towards universals of the mind and the heart.  Alan Bennett uses this One Act dialogue between two quite ordinary people to remind us of the power of words, silences, attitudes and relationships. See photo gallery.

Actors: Bob Carmody and Georgette Garbès Putzel

Lights & Sound: Our wonderful and regretted Brad “Bear” Ingalls