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December 2022


Theatres aren’t just for plays

Though drama is the core of their business, theatres are increasingly introducing audiences to other art forms and offering immersive events and participative discussions for all audiences. 

Une immersion numérique

Anthéa, Antipolis Théâtre d ’Antibes

Digital immersion

Anthéa, which opened in 2013, schedules 240 live performances in the year, of which half are drama and the rest are dance, music, marionette shows, opera, circus etc. With some 15 new shows a year, Anthéa works with partner companies like Collectif 8. This is a duo that partners director Daniel Benoin for his scenographies, using digital tools and new technology to bring video and music into live performances. Once a quarter there is an ‘Immersion’ night devoted to digital theatre. It starts with visuals projected on the theatre’s façade, continues with experimental theatre in the Salle Vaneck, and ends with after-show drinks on the 5th-floor rooftop terrace. This multidisciplinary approach prompts us to think afresh about the theatre as a flexible venue whose function can change in the course of the evening.

Théâtre de Grasse

From dance to urban culture

TDG originally built its identity as an officially authorised dance and circus theatre, with iconic acts like the Système Castafiore troupe, which has been based in Grasse for 25 years and is internationally known for its multimedia shows. Back in the day, TDG helped to put modern circus, neoclassical dance and modern dance on the map. Now it’s doing the same for urban culture, with performances throughout Grasse and the surrounding area. The town hall has commissioned it to develop activities for young people, such as workshops on street art and DJing. The high point of its year is the Grasse Hip-Hop Dance Festival in spring.

Les danseuses de Queen Blood, une chorégraphie du regretté Ousmane Sy. 

Théâtre National de Nice

Dramatic art

The foremost activity of this official national drama centre is to put on major plays from the repertoire. But Murielle Mayette-Holtz, its director, wanted to include more occasions for the public to meet professionals, with free monthly get-togethers in the theatre or elsewhere. For example, there are Monday events when audience volunteers are invited onto the stage to learn how to present before an audience. Actors taking part in relaxed conversations with the public have included Pierre Arditi, Carole Bouquet and Claude Lelouch. Recently, TNN has been offering spotlights on the theatre crafts and meetings with people as diverse as Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse and astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Conversation intime avec la journaliste et animatrice Catherine Ceylac
La compagnie A Kan la Dériv’ mêle théâtre, marionnettes et art de la rue.

Scène 55 Mougins

Culture for all

This 3057m² multidisciplinary cultural centre, which opened in 2017, welcomes all audiences.
“I make sure to watch all the shows we programme, and quality is my top priority,” says René Corbier, the theatre’s director. Scène 55 offers residencies for professional marionette groups; their shows prove that marionette theatre for adults can be a real art form. Dance is also a feature. With the Rosella Hightower dance school just down the road, Scène 55 can put on up-and-coming dancers and choreographers as well as leading names in the discipline. And then there are plays, classical music, a little jazz, a music school and visual arts workshops.

Les Rencontres philosophiques viennent compléter la programmation du théâtre. 

Théâtre Princesse Grace

 Princess Grace wanted to bring comedy theatre to Monaco, and the TPG was the result. Nowadays it puts far more focus on the script and writers. The central foyer is a place where people like to enjoy drinks and mingle before the show. The theatre also brings thinkers, artists and academics to the Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco. One Thursday evening each month, the public can join a conversation on a subject they care about, such as love, truth, war, freedom, the role of society or the function of art. It’s free, and the range of topics is vast.

By Tanja Stojanov


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