The opening celebration will be held on February 17 at the French Cultural Services' Payne Whitney Mansion. Actors Kathleen Chalfant and William Nadylam will read from Duras' works prior to the opening of an exhibition of photographs by Hélène Bamberger, which chronicle the summers the two women spent together from 1980 to 1994.
Theater pieces inspired by Duras' work that will be part of the festival include Razerka Ben Sadia-Lavant's L'homme assis dans le couloir (February 19-21), a play about love's erotic powers and inevitable pain, based on Duras' 1980 novella, and Christine Letailleur's theatrical version of Hiroshima mon amour (March 4-6), in which Alain Resnais' movie, which features a screenplay by Duras, is reconsidered. Both offerings will be seen at Baryshnikov Arts Center.
Astrid Bas' Diptych: The Lover and La Musica Deuxième (February 26-27) will be presented at the French Institute Alliance Française, as will La Vie matérielle by Irina Brook (March 5-6), which is inspired by Duras' essays and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.For further information, visit www.frenchculture.org.