Koltès had a particular affinity for American culture, literature, and language. Although originally written in his native French, The Night Just Before the Forests (La nuit juste avant les forêts, Minuit, 1977) follows a rhythm reminiscent of blues, gospel, rap, or a syncopated jazz riff. My new translation underscores this American musical undertone, while remaining very close to the repetitions and variations of Koltès’ original syntax, which resonates with the southern voice of Atlanta where this theatrical project was born. A man wanders in a metropolis looking for a room. This hour-and-a-half long monologue is performed with both physical and spiritual intensity by dancer and actor Isma`il Ibn Conner, in a meticulous multimedia staging by French director Philip Boulay.


excerpt from “the night just before the forests.” author : bernard-marie koltès.  mise en scène : philip boulay. actor : isma’il ibn conner. translation and artistic collaboration : amin erfani. video artist, light and sound : jean-françois domingues. camera and sound: eric parisi. theater : espace bernard-marie koltès – théâtre du saulcy (metz). date : october 18, 2012. coproduction : wor(l)ds…cie / quai est-biennale koltès / théâtre du saulcy, scène conventionnée pour les écritures contemporaines, metz.


Bernard-Marie Koltès