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Lily & Lily, a boulevard comedy by Barillet and Grédy, produced by the Free-Vol company, will be staged at ALBA. Dedicated to a noble cause, it will be performed from November 24 to December 12. Theater enthusiasts, vaudeville fans and French language aficionados are expected to watch this entertaining play where laughter reigns supreme. Featuring passionate and volunteer actors, the proceeds from the play will be entirely donated to 11 associations.

Free-Vol, a company comprising 20 volunteers, advocates for a love of life, culture, art, the Francophone world and above all, theater. The actors are all theater enthusiasts and volunteers, and the script has been adapted for the Lebanese audience. An interview with the company provides insight into the entire adaptation process.

What do you mean by a Vaudeville of quality? What is the added value of the Free-Vol Company?

Quality theater, even at the amateur level, demands a deep commitment to the art of theater, respect for the audience and a desire to provide a memorable and enriching theatrical experience, irrespective of professional training. To achieve this, actors dedicate six months to intensive work on gestures, script and staging. Like bees around a hive, Free-Vol’s members collaborate to create a professional-grade show. This year, ALBA has even integrated students in Interior Architecture, Product Design and Fashion into this project. Our added value lies in humor and mutual support, aiming to open our stage to the youth.

“Theater is also a way of giving.” Where do you find this energy?

Theater involves giving without expecting anything in return. Our love and passion for theater serve as powerful driving forces. The opportunity to bring characters to life and share stories with the audience is an invaluable energy source. Delving into the characters’ emotions and motivations propels us to fully engage in both the staging and our roles. This requires a deep connection with the role we play, stimulating us and enabling us to push our limits. The synergy within the team and the interaction with the audience create an energizing dynamic.

About Lily & Lily

The Story

This boulevard comedy immerses the audience in the Hollywood world of the famous actress Lily. Capricious and demanding, she imposes her moods on those around her, especially her impresario, Sam. Fed up with her antics and unavailability during an important press conference, Sam seizes the opportunity to replace her with journalists. This leads to a series of misunderstandings and absurd moments that unfold amidst a plot against Lily, captivating and amusing the audience.

The Script

Free-Vol selected Lily & Lily for the laughter it incites, its brisk pace and its plot intertwining infidelity, scams, humorous postures and unexpected situations in an American artistic setting.

The Training

Under the direction of Valéry Debahy, who had previously worked on a dozen stagings, training unfolds in three stages: role ownership, script mastery and interaction, culminating in six months of rehearsals leading to a final run-through.

Do you believe theater is a basic need in the current country context?

Theater has the power to remind us of our shared humanity, evoke empathy and strengthen bonds between individuals, even in conflict-ridden times. It provides a space where spectators and actors come together to share a collective experience, offering an escape into an imaginary world and a temporary respite from daily life. Engaging in theater amidst chaos also acts as a form of resistance, showcasing our resolve to keep art and culture alive despite challenges.

What does being an actor mean to you?

A theater actor does not exist without an audience. Differently put, being an actor primarily involves delivering happiness, emotion and escapism to the audience, even if it sometimes means displeasing them, as the actor exists in the spectator’s gaze. For some, acting is therapeutic or a way to overcome shyness. Above all, being an actor means constantly giving while remaining a perennial child at heart.

A message to young actors.

Theater encompasses the significance of the script, stage fright, discouragements, joys, doubts, solitude and teamwork, as well as tenacity, a penchant for the unexpected and the ephemeral. Be bold, dare and understand that theater is a vocation. One must commit wholeheartedly or not at all. Passion is essential; there is no room for half-baked measures. Theater is a team effort, requiring respect for others and the audience. Joining a troupe infers punctuality and relentless rehearsals to deliver a quality show. Everyone has a talent to offer, be it on stage or behind the scenes.

For reservations, contact one of the following associations: 

Saint Vincent de Paul, Equal, Saint Antoine de Padoue, Les restos du cœur, Saint Michel, Liens de vie, À tout cœur, Association Centre Mar Semaan, Association francophone pour les malades mentaux, Vio Autism, Rotary Club of Lebanon International, IRAP, Donner Sang Compter, Pave The Way and Freevol.

Tickets are also available at the door.

Instagram: @mariechristine.tayah