Turning a new leaf

 Ed-Alcock_Myop

 

In 2017 we celebrate both La Comédie de Saint-Etienne’s 70th birthday and the opening of its new Plaine Achille venue.

When we meet in June 2017 to celebrate the birthday and the new lease on life of this grand old lady, you’ll discover a brand new theater, with a very large set, a multi-purpose room, a rehearsing room and two studios.

Since its creation by Jean Dasté and with the help of Jeanne Laurent, this pioneering National Dramatic Centre has changed, moved and evolved without ever losing sight of its primary mission: promoting the joys of the theatre and sharing them with the widest possible audience.

Creating and passing on are still today its core values, embodied by its higher education Drama School, its artistic Ensemble and all the artists who perform, rehearse, teach, bond and open doors and windows to bring to life every day its joyful utopia of a popular theatre.

It took almost 15 years for the reconstruction project to be completed. The new Comédie, designed by the Studio Milou, is emblematic of Saint Etienne’s renewal and of its trust in the future. We would of course like to thank all those (elected officials, artists, professionals, administration, engineers and institutions) who believed in and helped make this dream a reality, and more particularly our loyal and steadfast financers who helped us add a new chapter to our story : The Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the City of Saint-Etienne, The Loire Département, The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region as well as the EPASE.

The 16/17 season is a transition, a bridge between both our locations. We have tried our hardest to remain a hub of creation while preparing our move.

Julie Delicquet (Collectif in Vitro) and Pierre Maillet (Les Lucioles) have joined Matthieu Cruciani (The Party) as associate artists. In fact, Julie will also be the sponsor for the 29th promotion of the school which will be recruited this season. Living authors (Alexandra Badea, Hakim Bah, Lee Hall, Stefano Massini, Pauline Sales, Lot Vekemans, Tanguy Viel…) are still at the heart of our production projects and of our programming.

With nearly 200 performances in and around Saint-Etienne, and almost as many on tour everywhere in France, important international partnerships (The Ouagadougou Récréatrales, CalArts in Los Angeles, the Sceña Contemporeana Festival in Brasilia), a creation featured in the 70th edition of the Avignon Festival, La Comédie de Saint-Etienne has become a reference in contemporary theater creation, for which we can all be proud.

The whole point of theater decentralization was to find new meaning, brotherhood and joy after the disasters of World War Two. Let us remember this momentum in order to carry it into the future. Investing in Art, in thought, in Culture and in sharing it all every day is a happy necessity to defeat the darkness.

 

Arnaud Meunier