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La Chartreuse - Centre national des écritures du spectacle

In 2003, la Chartreuse is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.
Thirty years of fruitful collaboration between artists, theatre professionals and audiences, initiating a radically contemporary project in an exceptional site. Thirty years to produce a creative environment in which to foster new talent.

The residencies
The residencies are the very basis of our cultural initiative at La Chartreuse, a time for people to meet and exchange views. Since 1991, when the Centre national des écritures du spectacle (CNES) was created, nearly 400 playwrights have been in residence at La Chartreuse.
The theme residencies are designed to give playwrights selected by the CNES a chance to work on a particular element of writing during three months (comedy, theatre for young audiences, melodrama, etc.). Individual residencies are for playwrights who have obtained a grant from an institution or organisation in France (Ministère de la Culture, Centre national des lettres, "Beaumarchais", etc.) or abroad.
In 2003, the following playwrights were in residence at La Chartreuse: Thérèse André-Abdélaziz, Pierre Astrié, Jean Cagnard, François Chaffin, Sylvie Chenus, Nicolas Crombet, Thierry Debroux, Valérie Deronzier, Ilias Driss, Éric Durnez, Paul Emond, Loïc Flameng, Sarah Fourage, Marc Frémond, Igor Futerrer, Claire Gatineau, Marc-Michel Georges, Jean-Jacques Greneau, Sarah Kéryna, Marie-Line Laplante, Philippe Malone, Serge Martin, Eddy Pallaro, Antoine Pickels, Françoise Pillet, Jeanne Poitevin, Baghera Poulin, Emmanuel Schaeffer, Miguel Angel Sevilla, Frédéric Sonntag, Jacky Viallon, Matéi Visniec, Dominique Wittorski, and translators Silvia Berutti-Ronel, Gianni Poli and Violeta Tauragiené.

Regional Itinéraire d'auteur ("PlayRoutes")
For the past six years La Chartreuse has been developing a network of venues and places for promoting contemporary playwriting with regional lending libraries.
Public readings by professional actors from the area, staged by directors familiar with the plays, were held daily over a period of a month and half in libraries in the Gard and Vaucluse regions. The librarians have gradually built up their collections of plays through this "Chartreuse outside the walls". They have also become well-informed springboards for new playwriting and are regular participants in our activities at the CNES.

Itinéraire d'auteur Michel Vinaver
After Yves Reynaud (1998), Daniel Lemahieu (1999), Serge Valletti (2000), Denise Bonal (2001) and Suzanne Lebeau (2002), La Chartreuse has chosen Michel Vinaver as the focus of "Itinéraire" in 2003 with a special issue of Les Cahiers de Prospero entitled "La Voie Vinaver" (no8, éditions La Chartreuse - Centre national des écritures du spectacle, July 1996).
Anne-Marie Lazarini directed 24 readings of Dissident, il va sans dire, Nina, c'est autre chose, Les Travaux et les Jours and Les Voisins in the network of libraries in the Gard and Vaucluse regions, including two readings of all four plays at the université Paul-Valéry theatre in Montpellier and at La Chartreuse (in the presence of Michel Vinaver).
La Chartreuse also hosted:
- An inter-academic seminar on plays and performances, focusing on the work of Michel Vinaver, who attended the event along with Christian Giriat, Alain Knapp, Jean-Pierre Ryngaert and Alain Simon.
- Meetings between drama schools around the theme of Vinaver's plays, with the Avignon, Grenoble and Marseille Conservatoires, and the Aix-en-Provence Companie de l'entraînement.
The next Itinéraire d'auteur (2004) will be devoted to Jacques Rebotier.

Interprofessional Meetings
The goal is to bring artists together, to break new ground and cross disciplines.

Playwrights - Directors
In addition to confronting playwrights' needs and directors' desires, these "arranged marriages" have resulted in several artistic projects since 2001. A new session took place in spring 2003.

Playwrights - Puppeteers
These encounters initiated in 1999 have inspired a renewal of dramatic forms. Nearly all of the projects hatched here have resulted in productions. In 2003, playwrights Gilles Aufray, Jean Cagnard, François Chaffin, Nicolas Crombet, Éric Durnez, Philippe Malone, Philippe Minyana, Nathalie Papin and Matéi Visniec took part in an exchange with puppeteers Sylvie Baillon, Claire Dancoisne, Claire Latarget, Guillaume Lecamus, Alain Lecucq, Massimo Schuster and Pascal Vergnault.

La Chartreuse provides training in theatre praxis for amateurs and professionals (secondary school theatre programme with workshops for students and teachers, and workshops for drama school students).
In 2003 Sylvie Chenus and Françoise Pillet led workshops for teachers; David Lescot worked with acting students from the regional drama school in Cannes; Anne-Laure Liégeois and Sylvie Chenus conducted a training course with the circus school from Châlons-en-Champagne; lastly, Alain Gautré and Catherine Zambon led a "clowns and writing" workshop (approved by AFDAS).

With Les Cahiers de Prospero and the "Itinéraire d'auteur" collection, the CNES has pursued its publishing activities begun in 1991 with the aim of reporting on the state of theatre production and promoting contemporary repertoire.

Les Cahiers de Prospero
Every issue is devoted to a playwright, who chooses a theme approved by La Chartreuse such as "short forms", "transmission", etc. Viewpoints and questions that reach beyond the world of theatre are thus approached through a playwright's original voice and subjective choices. By broadening the field of exploration to the world of philosophy, poetry and politics, Les Cahiers de Prospero opens the debate on cross-disciplinarity in the arts and contributes to further reflection about writing.

''Itinéraire d'auteur'' collection
The "Itinéraire d'auteur" collection follows a playwright's artistic career and retraces his writing experiences in an attempt to shed light on his work in a biographical, anecdotal and analytical way, and to explore the deep inner structure of his writing through interviews conducted by someone who is a playwright and friend. Since 1998 there have been six issues, on Yves Reynaud (1998), Daniel Besnehard (1998), Daniel Lemahieu (1999), Serge Valletti (1999), Denise Bonal (2001), and Suzanne Lebeau (2002).
This year Françoise du Chaxel puts together issue no 7 on the late Jean Audureau, featuring interviews with his close relations and directors of his plays, personal accounts, correspondence with his family, Hubert Gignoux, Jean-Louis Barrault, Jean Vauthier, Patrice Chéreau, etc., poems from his youth, unpublished work, analyses of his plays, reviews, a photo album and excerpts from his plays.
An "Itinéraire d'auteur" devoted to Jacques Rebotier is being prepared for 2004.

Les Contemporaines
The purpose of these meetings for theatre professionals is to showcase projects in a pre-production phase, and to initiate exchanges between creative talent (playwrights, directors, set designers, actors), producers and presenters interested in promoting contemporary theatre. They strive to foster new styles of writing/writers, to examine aesthetic choices, to promote future productions, and to be a springboard for "risky" projects. With few exceptions, the projects all find producers through the contacts developed at the Contemporaines meetings.
On 7, 8 and 9 November 2003, the 9th Contemporaines meeting hosted a dozen projects initiated by theatre troupes.

Rencontres d'été (Summer Sessions)
The Rencontres d'été are a spectacular manifestation of the theatre work that takes place throughout the year at La Chartreuse. They are a showcase for new writing styles, new connections to the stage and audiences, cross-disciplinary experimentation in the arts ranging from painting and sculpture to philosophy and poetry. By staging readings and innovative playwriting the Rencontres d'été have been a springboard for theatre companies that have dared to show work to general audiences and professionals by playwrights such as Christine Angot, Alain Béhar, Jean Cagnard, Christian Caro, Normand Chaurette, Daniel Danis, Emmanuel Darley, Didier-Georges Gabily, Laurent Gaudé, Hervé Guibert, Christophe Huysman, Suzanne Joubert, Patrick Kermann, Fabienne Mounier and others. Over the years the Rencontres d'été developed their own personality parallel to the Avignon Festival. A closer collaboration in the future between the two is in the offing.

La Chartreuse is also a library for contemporary theatre (6000 plays), a specialised bookshop (over 8000 books in the field of contemporary theatre), the Répertoire des auteurs dramatiques français contemporains (available online at, readings in people's homes, meetings with playwrights in residence, reading committees, etc.

La Chartreuse - Centre national des écritures du spectacle
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