Oct 11th, 2016, 11:59 AM

English Theater in Paris—a Guide

By Sarah Sidi
Image credit: Public Domain/Clay Robeson
Unsure of your French, but want to go to the theater—or even act?

When you're a both theater lover and an expat, surrounded by a language different from your own, it can be tough to satisfy your cravings for the spotlight—both watching it, and being in it.  It’s tough to be a foreigner, isn’t it? However, there's no need to worry, as there are plenty of opportunities for the Anglophone to get his or her fix of theater in the city of lights.

Where to See Theater

Theater in Paris

Here, you can discover several theaters that show French plays, but with English subtitles. This is the perfect situation if you want to experience local French classics, comedies or musicals in the greatest theaters in Paris such as Théâtre du Ranelagh, Théâtre Edouard VII, Le Comedia, Théâtre Edgar, Salle Gaveau etc. The subtitles are done by bilingual professionals so that foreigners do not lose the slightest bit of the quality of the original play. 

Let me suggest one of my favorites, How to Become a Parisian in One Hour. It is a humorous one-man show written by and starring Olivier Giraud, who, through the hour-long show, offers advice on how to survive in this strange place called Paris—and maybe even become something resembling a Parisian. This play is an absolute must! French people are fond of it too. It takes place every weekend at the Théâtre des Nouveautés at 24, boulevard Poissonière, 75009.

Where to Get Involved in Theater

White Mask Theater Club at AUP! 

Don't forget that you have an amazing opportunity incredibly close to you. Every type of artist at AUP, no matter an actor, writer, director, or backstage worker, is more than welcome on the White Mask team. The more talented students we have, the better we can be!

Bilingual Acting Workshop

BAW is affiliated with the American University of Paris and offers all-level courses and workshops of Film and Theater acting for international students in Paris. Teachers are trained in the United States, and classes are held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 7-10:30PM at Le Pavé d'Orsay, 43, rue de Lille, 75007.

Acting in English with the famous Cours Florent

If you really want to get involved in acting, one of the most famous French theater schools offers a three-year program for English speakers. Be warned, applicants must complete a one-week training course at the school prior to being considered. Also, be aware that this amazing experience will take you at least 9 hours per week of tough but fun work. Classes are held at 37/39, avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019.

Speaking of the Cours Florent, one of the teachers at the school, Peter Vickers, founded his own acting school called Paris Drama in English. He does not impose a specific schedule—you're free to take any course you want! What’s cool with about Peter (who is a classically trained English actor) is that not only does he teach you how to perform, but he introduces to the analysis of the works studied.

American Musical Theater Live!

From master classes in musical theater to a Broadway songs & dance workshop, this Franco-American association, known for launching the first Off-Broadway musicals in the French capital, additionally hosts a myriad of courses sure to satisfy an interest in any aspect of theater. If you’re a musical fan, that is the place to go and sing your heart out. The company even hosts musical theater open mics—so even if you just want to dabble in a little song and dance, you're invited too. Classes are held at 2, rue de la Barrière Blanche, 75018.