As part of the course we saw Et pendant ce temps Simone Veille and Oscar et la dame rose, which were both held at small theaters outside of the central theatre district in Paris. In the United States, these theaters would be the equivalent to a community theater or a blackbox with more seating.
Of course, it would have been easier if I had the help of surtitles, even if I had already studied the plays in class. Sometimes I was completely lost due to the large amount of old and modern French slang used in both plays. But overall, it was a very authentic experience and I would encourage any tourist in Paris to visit a French play to see something interesting and to be exposed to a completely different experience (and with the help of Theatre in Paris, you can have surtitles to help you!). Unlike the States, local theatre in Paris is much more intimate, more casual and almost more old-fashioned. Ushers personally take you to your seats, a “real” person makes the opening announcement at the front of the house, you will not find souvenir stands, and everyone seems to be there for the artistry and the experience.
Though I love and miss the ambiance that comes with seeing American theatre in extravagant venues, having a cultural adventure off the beaten path will give you the best kind of welcome to a foreign country and make you feel like you’re really living like the locals.