Meeting with the new management of the CDN in Rouen: “We want to bring the theater to life everywhere”
Through Fabien Massin
The duo that succeeds David Bobée at the head of CDN (National Dramatic Center) of Normandy Rouen took office: two puppeteers, Camille Found and Brice Berthoud, founders of the company Les Anges au Plafond, in Malakoff (Hauts-de-Seine).
Interview in two voices with the new management of the CDN, present at three locations: the Théâtre des deux rives (Rouen), the Théâtre de la Foudre (Le Petit-Quevilly) and the Espace Marc-Sangnier (Mont-Saint-Aignan) .
“Contemporary puppetry is a transdisciplinary language”
76actu: Camille Found and Brice Berthoud, who are you?
Camille Found: We are two multi-cap artists, both director / director and performers, and above all authors of our shows. Brice is a scenographer, and I am a puppet builder, 200 in 20 years, the particularity of contemporary puppets being that they are on a human scale.
Brice Berthoud: Today, contemporary puppetry is a transdisciplinary language, which mixes the arts of movement, plastic arts, visual arts, new media, circus and music. The puppet has emerged from the shackles and the castelet, it is completely at the crossroads of the arts, and its image has also changed.
What made you come here?
CT: The company Les Anges au Plafond is very attached to Malakoff, but it has developed throughout France, with strong associations in major production houses and on national stages. So somewhere, we shone with our aesthetic all over France. Then there was this desire, in a company journey, to establish a lasting presence in a territory, in contact with populations, and to be able to carry out long-term work.
BB: At the ministry they already called us the “nomadic CDN”… Because with 13 shows in the repertoire, assistance to companies in delegated production, hours devoted to cultural education action – throughout France -, professional training, etc., our missions were similar to those of a CDN.
We have been urged to go to a place for years. And we had a very strong encounter here, in these three places. There, we said that the opportunity was magnificent to pose an artistic project.
• Discover a creation of the Angels on the Ceiling:
What did you defend in your candidacy?
CT: We defended a truly transdisciplinary project, a cross between the arts and disciplines: movement arts – circus and dance -, live music, dramatic art, of course, and the puppet axis, which in itself constitutes a place of convergence of these artistic practices. In addition, we have a great desire to work outside the walls and to meet the inhabitants. We want the theater to emerge everywhere, especially where we do not expect it: social centers, prisons, hospitals, colleges and high schools …
Today you are inserting yourself into an already established program: how do you see what has been done? Do you know David Bobée?
BB: Yes of course, we have immense affinities with David Bobée and we will defend this programming as if it were our own. There are some of the projects that we could have programmed ourselves, in particular the show by Pierre Guillois Fat people skate well [à l’affiche jusqu’à samedi 13 novembre Ndlr], which is part of our kind of beauty. There will be no break, but small steps aside, on certain things. The public, the team, everyone is witnessing this. We will not be clones of David Bobée, we have our identity.
Make no mistake about the public, the crisis is there, it is not coming back to the room and it has nothing to do with the Covid. There are questions relating to the audience that must be put back on the table: CDNs were invented 70 years ago to decentralize culture, perhaps today national drama centers need to decentralize themselves. themselves. There is no longer any question of bringing in 95% of the population who do not go to the theater and who will never come. Or, everyone has the right to culture.
So, how do you go about it?
CT: During the opening weekend, at the end of September 2022, which will mark the launch of our season, we will be offering an event at the three locations, both in the theaters and in the public space, with moments of conviviality for to meet. I think that from the start, we will be meeting people outside the walls, in structures, in public spaces and in rural areas. We are also going to create small forms in an apartment, to change the meeting between the public and the artists. At 8 p.m., the great show on the large stage, which remains, will coexist with new forms of meeting.
BB: We also want to offer an author to write a series, in three episodes, which will be available in the three places. The richness of this CDN is precisely to have three places, a large territory and very committed partners.
“Everyone has their own area of expertise”
You are a two-headed management, you have the experience of 20 years in your company, but here, how are you going to distribute the tasks?
CT: It’s really a richness to be two, and each one has their areas of expertise. Brice is very attached to the relationship with the public, he is very inventive in this field, he will find new forms of meeting with the public, he is concerned about communication tools. He is also a scenographer, and masters all the trades of the set. I am no longer in …
BB: … in everything else (laughs)
CT: I have a very strong relationship with pedagogy, I teach many hours in national theater and puppet schools. I also have a strong relationship with the administration …
BB: … And budgets are very important! And on all the programming, because you are still going to see three to four shows a week, when you are not playing.
CT: On programming, we are going to propose things, knowing that in the team there are also real resource people. The strength of our duo is our ability to unite around a project, which is in any case what we have experienced in the company.
What will become of your company, exactly?
BB: It will be put to sleep, we are forced to mutate. The 13 productions of the company will arrive at the CDN, they will be those of the CDN, just like the three delegated productions. All this will be done little by little, but in June 2022, normally, everything will belong to the CDN. It’s a mutation, but also a bereavement, obviously. At Les Anges au Plafond, we have offices, a workshop and above all partnerships. We like to work with the link, and to associate several structures in the production of a show: CDN, national stage, city theater … This brings strength in the funding, and the show turns where it was co-produced, it goes. meet audiences. Of course, with big productions and production forces that CDNs have, things are going faster. But to several on goes really further, it is deeper. This mesh, we would like to keep it within the CDN.
CT: The company is put to sleep, however we keep the name: it has an identity and is a force on the national territory as well as internationally. We think it is a richness to bring this name here, it carries a “following”: there is an audience that follows the Angels in the Ceiling and foreign programmers who follow the projects.
Another specificity of your duo, you are interpreters: are you going to play here?
CT : OUI bien sur. We continue to be interpreters, it gives us a lot of energy, it’s a place of work that we love and it allows the public to get to know us.
BB: Our own season will begin in September 2022, but the old management had the delicacy of leaving a niche, around the month of February, so that we can present ourselves to the public of the agglomeration, with one or two pieces of our repertoire. We have not yet chosen which ones, we will do it with the whole team.
What is your view on the Rouen territory, which you are discovering?
CT: We discover Rouen, we love it, it’s a beautiful, lively city which has a lively cultural life, a lot of cultural players, a lot of companies, a nice heritage. We also discover a land where solidarity really makes sense. There is special attention to people with disabilities, we feel that culture is very much geared towards cultural rights, which is a concept that is both central and ultimately quite recent. We want to defend and continue to live in the territory. So questions of parity, visibility of minorities, accessibility of culture to people with disabilities, will be our battleground.
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