Already 10 years !

6 editions
94 shows from

40 different countries
226 performances  into the city
159 performances in regionals, nationals and europeans tours (Switzerland, Deutschland, Poland, Belgium, Holland and Spain)

10 years of joint programmation  :

It’s in 2017, Price of French coalition  for cultural diversity.

It’s the creation of Ephemeral school in partnership with ENS-Lyon in 2017

It’s network of strong and faithful metropolitan partnerships which make possible the reception of more than 20 shows per edition.

It is the discovery and / or the reception of directors, writers and actors of great strength that have marked each of the editions: From Krymov to Larraín, Calderon to Farias, Langhoff to Rau, the Teatr Aftaab to the young Cambodians of Battambang…

It is from Russia, Chile, Rwanda, Poland, Egypt and all latitudes, women directors, writers, actresses who practice with talent and against winds and mares a theater that says no . They are invited, we follow them and accompany them as much as possible. Tatiana Frolova and the Teatr KnAM, of course, but also Paula González Seguel who will return with her KIMVN Teatro, Marta Górnicka already invited three times, Carole Karemera, Sondos Shabayek, Kodhr Chryst.le, Sanja Mitrovic and many other artists “standing “…

Like their male counterparts, we will put them in the spotlight in the side events devoted without nostalgia to the 10 years of the Festival.

Sens interdits, drama which say no and give hope !


Already 10 years ! Hope and utopia…

Everything is wrong !

How to ignore it while media and social networks pour torrents of catastrophic information without respite and all-out. Endless news, no brakes, no sorting. Until disgust! So, why add to the collective depression with emergency theater, documentary theater, citizen, engaged, political that tells us about rapes, prisons, genocide, minorities abused, weak abused by stronger?

Certainly because, as Antonin Artaud has written, “all that is in love, in crime, in war, or in madness, the theater must give it back to us, if it wishes to recover its need “. But also because the theater imposes its tempo, tells a story, changes the angles of view, installs the disorder to better let the spectator free, in the middle of the others, of an autonomous or shared analysis. So the theater as an antidote to the continuous flow of news? Without a doubt ! Those who saw Dimitri Krymov’s Opus 7 in 2009, A personal war by Tatiana Frolova in 2011, Cursed be the traitor to his homeland of Oliver Frljić in 2013, Hate Radio by Milo Rau in 2015, Pablo Larraín’s Acceso in 2015, or Snake Transfrontier in 2017, understand much better, since the mechanisms of anti-Semitism in the USSR, the reality of the war in Chechnya, the divisions still alive in the Balkans, the evil mechanism that led to the genocide in Rwanda, pedophilia in the Church in Chile and elsewhere or the inexpressible reality of migrants at the gates of Europe. Each of these shows, like most of those programmed in the five editions of the Festival, offered, in their language and with their own cultural codes, often off-center and unexpected glances on universal issues that many thought they knew.

The goal has never been to discover this or that exotic aspect of a local history but to give to see the theater, to discover the unique looks of artists, cultural and social concerns at the antipodes of ours, disconcerting know-how but also exemplary and possibly contagious commitments, inspiring revolts.

Memories, identities, resistances!

You were almost 12,000 at the last edition to follow this incitement to curiosity and, among you, 42% were under 26 years old. It is this membership of the youngest people that encourages us and gives us hope. It is the determined work of artists committed body and soul in their project that gives full meaning to the patient marquetry that is a programming. It is the confidence of an ever-growing network of metropolitan, national and European partners that makes it possible to widely circulate fragile shows and to pool the loads of heavier shows. I hope that everyone can find their way in the programming of this edition of 10 years, organized in cycles (Russia, Mexico, Africa), crossed by red threads (World of Work, Women in resistance, Exiles and conflicts), making way for an unclassifiable Polish show, two shows in the public space and a tribute to the Ecole de Liège, one of which, jubilatory, offers nothing less, at the end of the Festival, than an attempt utopia.

Espoir donc !

Patrick Penot