Chaillot Words Miscellaneous


Charlie Urbanowicz
[Also known as "Dr. Gaspard Jadin" and "Sewer Man"]

The Madwoman of Chaillot
Jean Giraudoux (1882->1944)
March 7->12, 2000 at California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929
Directed by Dr. Sue Pate

[This page printed from ]

27 March 2000 [1]


APPENDIX I: A Complete Listing of All Individuals Involved
APPENDIX II: Café Marcelle by Mark Beal
APPENDIX III: Other Visuals
APPENDIX IV: Interesting (and appropriate) items


"So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practise every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light."

Pangur Bán was written in the first millennium by an Irish monk, as detailed in the 1988 book entitled Exploring the Book of Kells by George Otto Simms (Dublin: The O'Brien Press). Pangur Bán, the name of the poem, was also the name of the Irish scribe's cat: "The two words Pangur and Bán both mean 'white': Pangur Bán must have been a very white cat indeed, 'whiter than ordinary white'" (G.O. Simms, 1988, page 10). Considering the current Madwoman ensemble, the following words struck me as most appropriate: "In our arts we find our bliss" and "Practise every day.... [stress added!]."


INTRODUCTION [American Theater Web - Home of theater in the United States] [Playbill On-Line - THE Theatre Source....] 

Spring 2000 Madwomen ensemble members might be interested in a "web page" that was created for the 1999 production of Three Sisters. Available at, it begins with:

"Acting is one of the most exciting, enjoyable, and creative art forms in existence. It can also be one of the most daunting, challenging, and humbling experience anyone can face. Cultural anthropologists tell us that acting, at least in ritual form, is as old as the first humans sitting around the prehistoric campfire playing out for the gathered community the roles of demons, hunted animals, or even rain spirits." (Susan Pate, Randy Wonzong, Donna Breed, 1996, A Beginning Actor's Companion, 3rd edition, page 1)


CHECK OUT, IF YOU WISH: [Lonely Planet - Destination Paris] wherein it is pointed out concerning Égouts de Paris:

"A city cannot grow, prosper and become truly great unless some way is found to deal with its odiferous output of bodily wastes. Along the Seine, east of the Eiffel Tower, Paris has a unique working museum devoted to such an answer: sewerage. The entrance to the museum is a rectangular maintenance hole that leads into 480m (1575ft) of raw sewerage tunnels, replete with all sorts of vaguely familiar objects flowing beneath your feet." [Entrance: Pont de l'Alma, 7é]

"Strolling west along the Left Bank of the Seine one gloomy day, as we approached the Pont, or bridge, d'Alma, we noticed a sign that said Les Égouts de Paris. There, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, was a booth where, for a mere $3, one could purchase a ticket to the Paris Sewer Museum. ... The Paris Sewer Museum takes you through 500 yards of the city's 1,300 plus miles of sewers. ... Entrance to the Paris Sewer Museum is at Pont d'Alma in front of 93 Quai d'Orsay, near the Place de la Résistance. Or visit" Austin Murphy, 2000, Underground. Via [California State Automobile Association], Vol. 121, Number 2, March/April, pages 40-43. [One Picture of entrance to Sewers of Paris!] [Eiffel Tower from Palais de Chaillot] [Juggling in Movies} 381 Movies, as of January 1, 2000, that had juggling!] [Le Ministère de la culture et de la communication] [Paris Map: latin Quarter....]} GREAT "Paris Map" with "clickable" clockwise features] [Paris - St-Germain des Pres] [Quartier de Chaillot] [16éme Arrondissement]} WITH GREAT map of Place D'Alma and related (clickable!) areas. [ParisBourse SBF SA} Paris Stock Exchange] [Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance: Paris Stock Exchange] [InformationWeek 100 Stock Index] [Lascaux Caves in France] 


PERHAPS SOME ITEMS OF INTEREST: [Optimists Live Longer} from the BBC] [On Hopelessness and Hypertension] [Street Map Links] [from "Create Your Own Newspapers] = BUT, there apparently are NO French references! (But still an interesting site - scroll down and see.) [1987 "Press Release" of a Concord, Massachusetts, production of Madwoman] [1996 "Press Release" from Rice University, Houston, Texas, for a production of Madwoman]



For what I personally consider to be the BEST search engine on the web, please check out: [Northern Light Search]} And compare the results for this site with others; and also take a look, if you wish at: [All-in-One-Search-Page] and [Not "really" a "Search Engine" since it is a CSU, Chico site for INTERNSHIPS/COOPERATIVE education, but check it out!]



Modest research leads me to believe that the following is original with Giraudoux:

"Sadness flies on the wings of the morning--
and out of the heart of darkness comes the light----"
(The Deaf-Mute, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii)

An e-text of Heart of Darkness (1902) by Joseph Conrad (1857->1924) is located @

"The things a policeman is supposed to know!"
(The Policeman, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act i.)

"This is a historic occasion."
(The Président, Emile Durachon, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act i.)

"The treasures of the earth, my dear sir, are not easy to find nor to get at."
(The Prospector, Roger Van Hutten, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act i.)

"Countess, little by little, the pimps have taken over the world."
(The Ragpicker, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act i.)

"It seems to me these [Sunday Supplement ]writers just can't keep their minds off the sewers.
It fascinates them."
(Sewer Man, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.) 

"And so you see why I have asked you to come here today.
The world has gone out of its mind.
Unless we do something, humanity is doomed!"
(Countess Aurelia, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.) 

"But I don't understand, Aurelia.
Why should men want to destroy the city?
It was they themselves who put it up."
(Mademoiselle Gabrielle, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.)

"Men are big and beautiful, and as loyal as dogs."
(Mademoiselle Constance, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.)

"Justice is justice, my dear."
(Madame Joséphine, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.)

"Here they come, Countess!
You were right--It's a procession.
The street is full of taxis and limosines."
(Irma, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.)

"...we don't have to see it to write about it. We can imagine it."
(The 1st Press Agent, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.)

"Madame, we are the most powerful pressure group in the world!"
(The 1st Lady, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.)

"Nothing is ever so wrong in this world that a sensible woman can't set it right in the course of an afternoon."
(Countess Aurelia, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.) 

"My poor cats must be starved.
What a bore for them if humanity had to be saved every afternoon.
They don't think much of it, as it is."
(Countess Aurelia, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Act ii.) 



Considering that the "action" in The Madwoman of Chaillot in Act 1 took place within Café Marcelle, the following seems most appropriate on several levels:

"Play well, or play badly, but play truly."
(Konstantin Sergeevich Alekseev Stanislavski [1863-1938]),
as cited by David Mamet, 1986, Writing In Restaurants, page 28.

And think about the following:

"There's nothing to writing.
All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."
Walter ("Red") Smith, 1982, Reader's Digest, July.

and so:

There's nothing to acting:
all you have to do is work at it
with a fantastic group of people!

and finally:

"The most important word in the English language is attitude. Love and hate, work and play, hope and fear, our attitudinal response to all these situations, impresses me as being the guide." Harlen Adams (1904-1997) [PS: Not French, but still most appropriate!]

NOTE: In November 2000, you might wish to check out to see what else I may be up to by then! In that paper, I shall be incorporating a few works which will be most appropriate for the teaching, the theatre, and anthropologists:

"If it were easy, everyone would do it. We're the lucky few who can, and it's worth all the headaches." James Michener [1907-1997], as quoted in Lawrence Grobel, 1999, Talking With Michener (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press), page xiii.

ANOTHER NOTE: If I seem to be interested in the World Wide Web, please consider the following information:

"WEB HAS MORE THAN A BILLION PAGES: The World Wide Web now contains more than one billion unique documents, according to Inktomi and the NEC Research Institute. Nearly 55 percent of URLs end in .com. The second most popular ending is .net, with 7.82 percent, followed by .edu with 6.69 percent, .org with 1.15 percent, .gov with 1.15 percent, and .mil with 0.17 percent. Most Web documents -- 86.55 percent -- are in English. For more information see (Nua Internet Surveys, 8 February 2000)

"The World Wide Web, long the province of men seeking techno-gadgets, sports scores and pornography, now is drawing a nearly equal share of women users. An estimated 49 percent [~34,000,000] of Web users at the end of 1999 were women and it's forecast they will be in the majority within the next 12 months, according to a recent survey by AdRelevance, a Seattle-area research group. That marks a huge jump from just four years ago, when women accounted for just 35 percent of Internet users" [stress added]. Clint Stewart, 2000, Web Losing Gender Gap: Men Soon Online Minority. The Sacramento Bee, January 22, 2000, page 1 and page 20, page 1.

and last but not least!

"A teacher affects eternity;
he [or she!] can never tell where his [or her] influence stops."
(Henry Brooks Adams [1838-1918],
The Education of Henry Adams, chapter 20.) 



Pangur Bán

"I and Pangur Bán, my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better Far than praise of men
'Tis to sit with books and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.

'Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness I do prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practise every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light."

Translation by Robin Flower
In George Otto Simms, 1988, Exploring the Book of Kells
(Dublin: The O'Brien Press), pages 11-12.

[PLEASE NOTE: @ you will find "Pangur Bán -- Old Irish Text" as well as two additional English translations of this 9th Century poem; and for an extensive site on the Book of Kells, please see (from the Oregon State Library, Salem, Oregon, which has a fascimile edition available; and on this very extensive web site you will find numerous Book of Kells and Celtic WWW addresses!]



#1} Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944)



"Probably the most important French dramatist between the wars was Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944), a novelist,and member of the Foreign Service, who in 1928 began his theatrical career with a dramatization of his novel Siegfried. In [Louis] Jouvet [1887-1951], Giraudoux found his ideal interrpeter and he wrote most of his important works for him: Amphitryon 38 (1929), Judith (1931), The Trojan War Shall Not Take Place (1935), and Ondine (1939). Giraudoux often took his subjects from familiar sources but gave them novel interpretations, for he delighted in pointing out the simple in the complex and the surprising in the familiar. His works turn on antitheses--peace and war, fidelity and infidelity, life and death, liberty and destiny--and their reconciliations. His dramas take place at the moment when people are faced with a choice between two contradictory positions; he explores the contradictions and usually suggests means whereby they can be reconciled, often through some novel perception. Language, which he considered the highest expression of human reason, is Giraudoux's primary means. Writing at a time when the playwright had been subordinated to the director, Giraudoux sought to reaffirm the literary worth of drama. He wrote in a euphonious and highly expressive prose, with a marked disposition for fantasy, irony, and humor. Throughout all his work runs a deep faith in humanity" [stress added]." Oscar G. Brockett, 1995, History of the Theatre, 7th edition (Allyn and Bacon), page 482.

"Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) was the most important and successful playwright in France in the period between the two world wars, a success due in equal part to his talents and his close working relationship with actor-director Louis Jouvet. With his great verbal skills and ability to create connections between disparate things, Giraudoux was a perfect playwright to pair with a gifted director. A professional diplomat who had published essays and novels, Giraudoux's first play, Siegfried, was presented by Jouvet in 1928, after he made the playwright revise it seven times. At age forty-six, Giraudoux became a popular playwright. His next play, Amphitryon 38 (1929), established the dramatic form he was to follow for the rest of his career."

"In such plays as Amphitryon 38, Intermezzo (The Enchanted, 1933), Ondine (1939), L'Apollon de Bellac (The Apollo of Bellac, 1942), and La Folle de Chaillot (The Madwoman of Chaillot, 1945), Giraudoux displayed a witticism, whimsicality, and preciosity matched only by Molière [Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, 1622-1673] or Marivaux [Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaus, 1688-1763]. In his more serious plays--Judith (1931), Electre (Electra, 1937), Sodome et Gomorrhe (Sodom and Gomorrah, 1943), and Le Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (Tiger at the Gates, 1935)--the playwright demonstrated a great concern with humanity's struggle against fate."

"Since the 1950s and the rise of absurdists in the French theatre, the works of Giraudoux have lost some of their popularity. Yet their richness and fanciful complexities still command respect. His ability to transcend the ordinary levels of reality to reach a new and better reality gives hope to audiences who would like to believe, along with the heroine of The Madwoman of Chaillot, that 'nothing is ever so wrong in this world that a sensible woman can't set it right in the course of an afternoon" [stress added]." B. Donald Grose & O. Franklin Kenworthy, 1985, A Mirror to Life: A History Of Western Theatre (Holt, Rinehart and Winston), pages 552-553.

#2} Place D'Alma



#3} Map of Paris



#4} 16éme Arrondissement


#5} Rue du Chaillot  


#6} The Shoebox Ensemble!
Provisioners of the concessions for Café Marcelle!


APPENDIX I: A Complete Listing of All Individuals Involved:


Susan Pate (Director), Marc Beal (Scenic Design), Nelly Gonzalez & Genevieve M-Peña (Costume Design), Peter M. Austin (Lighting Design), Stephanie Howell (Assistant Lighting Design), Eric Marsh (Sound Design), Janeal Godfrey (Make-up Design), and Reanna Wights (Poster Design).

CAST (in order of initial appearance):

Travis Devincenzi (Doorman & Prospector 2), Cynthia Cox (Paulette/Therese & Lady 1), Heather Vaughan (Marcelle & Press Agent 3), Jonathan Furtado (The Little Man, The Sergeant, & Press Agent 2), Rich Matli (The Prospector), John Tomlinson (The President), Eric Marsh (The Baron), Lorraine Cink (The Street Singer & Mademoiselle Gabrielle [The Madwoman of St. Sulpice], & Lady 3 & Voice 1), Jackie Lillard (The Flower Girl & Madame Josephine [The Madwoman of La Concorde]) & Voice 3, Bill Cose (The Ragpicker), Julie Cosenza (The Deaf-Mute/Juggler 2), Kate Corey (Irma), Jocelyn Stringer (The Shoelace Peddler & Madame Constance [The Madwoman of Passy] & Lady 2 & Voice 2), Adrian Torres (The Broker & Prospector 3), Val Valerio (The Street Juggler), Charlie Urbanowicz (Dr. Jadin & The Sewer Man), Rebecca Long (The Madwoman of Chaillot), Marc Hayes (The Policeman), and Joseph Minisalle (Pierre).


Michael Johnson (Production Manager), Diana Previtire (Production Assistant), Gail Holbrook (Costume Shop Supervisor), Sandra Barton (Assistant Costume Shop Supervisor), David Beasley (Scenic Artist), Peter M. Austin (Stage Technician), Tana Miller (Properties Supervisor), Beth Highland (Properties Assistant), J. DiMaggio (Humanities and Fine Arts/School of the Arts Publicist), Amanda Ree & Ann-Marie Johnson & Brett I. Gillbreath (Publicity Assistants), Crish Kaufman (Lobby Photography), Alicia Abels (University Box Office Manager), and Jennifer Anderson (University Box Office, Assistant Manager).


Melissa G. Harden (Stage Manager), Allison Scholtes (Assistant Stage Manager), Jeremy Votava (Light Board Operator), Lacey Taylor (Sound Board Operator), Kathleen Cochran & Samantha Mora (Stage Crew & Samantha Mora also Prop Crew), Emily McKibben (Wardrobe Supervisor), Kerry Ann Alaimo, Chris Harper, and Crystal Wolfe (Wardrobe Crew), Janeal Godfrey (Make-up Supervisor), Monica Araya, Matt Hammons, Emma Jessee, Margot Melcon, Judi Souzaa, and Brian Stuart (Make-up Crew), Stephanie Howell (Master Electrician), Jeremy Shull, Eric marsh, Nikki Rossini, Stephanie Howell, Adrian Torres, Jarrod Rothstein, Allison Scholtes, and Andy Noda (Electricians), Peter M. Austin & David Beasley (Head Welders), Sheen DeLuc & Eric marsh (Assistant Welders), Lesley Alumbaugh, Anthony Banse, Hector garza, Chris Harper, Steven Hood, Stephanie Howell, Sheen DeLuc, Eric Marsh, Nikky Rossini, Lorraine Cink, Adrian Torres, Rich Matli, Jarrod Rothstein, Allison Scholtes, Jeremy J. Shull, Stephen Smith, Jeremy Votava, and Jonathan Willis (Carpenters), Sandra Barton (Cutter), Alica Carter, Julia Dalton, Heather Vaughan, Nelly Gonzalez, Diane Gans, Genevieve M-Peña, Jocelyn Stionger, April Carmo, and Julie Cosenza.

Additional scenic, costume, and electrical work done by Theatre 61, 70, 76, 163, and 173 students. Special thanks to Sean Beal for the guitar, Marie Claire Dizin for accordian music, Charlie Urbanowicz for dramaturgy, Avanti for their generous food donation, and Jarrah Myles for her business consultation.

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APPENDIX II: Café Marcelle by Mark A. Beal, Theatre Arts Department, CSU, Chico:



The Spring 2000 Madwomen of Chaillot Cast (photo #1 by Ms. Melissa G. Harden, Stage Manager)


The Spring 2000 Madwomen of Chaillot Cast, including Director Sue Pate (photo #2 by Ms. Melissa G. Harden, Stage Manager)


Palace de Chaillot by Ms. Jackie Lillard (also known as "The Flower Girl" and "Madame Josephine: The Madwoman of La Concorde")


Avenue Wilson by Ms. Jackie Lillard (also known as "The Flower Girl" and "Madame Josephine: The Madwoman of La Concorde")


APPENDIX IV: Interesting (and appropriate) items [Paris Pages - Map of Monuments & Museums] [Good Show! London Theatre Information and Booking Service] [The Dance Collection} The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; includes a "link" to Selected Dance Resources on the Internet: ["Gateway" to the Ballet and Dance World"] [Devastating "review" of a May 1999 Madwoman production in NYC] which begins as follows:

"Jean Giraudoux's posthumously produced The Madwoman of Chaillot is a problematic work to stage successfully these days. First produced in Paris in 1945, a year after Giraudoux's death, it deals with corporate greed and its negative effects on the world's ecological well-being, issues that have become even more pressing as we race to the end of one century and hurl ourselves into another. However...."

[NOTE: Urbanowicz remarks that this review reminded him of the words of George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) who wrote: "I saw the play under the worst possible conditions: the curtain was up."] [madwoman.htm} picture of cellar] NOTE: "Theatre Archives" from 1989 to 1995, from Augustana College, Illinois! [Dr. Victoria B. Kowzeniowska's articles/papers pertaining to Giraudoux ]

FINALLY, Urbanowicz ends with:

"Good actors are good because of the things they can tell us without talking. When they are talking, they are the servants of the dramatist. It is what they can show the audience when they are not talking that reveals the fine actor." Sir Cedric Hardwicke (February 19, 1893 - August 6, 1964), 1958, Theatre Arts (February)

"A play should give you something to think about. When I see a play and understand it the first time, then I know it can't be much good." Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), New York Post, September 22, 1963.

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1. © It is a wonderful "theatrical tradition" to share gifts and herewith is my "little giftie" to the cast & crew of the Spring 2000 production of The Madwoman of Chaillot; thanks to all who support us in our "bliss" (especially our significant and understanding others!). As stated above, to see the item prepared for the 1999 production of Three Sisters, please see To return to the top of the page, please click here.


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For more information, please contact Charles F. Urbanowicz
Copyright © 2000 Charles F. Urbanowicz

Anthropology Department, CSU, Chico
Revised: 1 April 2000 by CFU

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