The young shoots of Maison Maria Casarès

Green Territory Blue, by Marion Lévêque. Photo Joseph Banderet

In the village of Alloue, in Charente, Johanna Silberstein and Matthieu Roy unveiled four creations initiated at the Maison Maria Casarès which they have been directing since 2017. So many promising shows, produced by young artists who should establish themselves in the landscape. theatrical over the next few years.

Johanna Silberstein and Matthieu Roy, the young couple of directors of the Maison Maria Casarès, located in the village of Alloue (in Charente) cultivate an organic theater. Or, more precisely, a theater created according to the principles of sustainable agriculture. The program is designed according to the rhythm of the seasons. Spring is dedicated to the blossoming of talents (“young shoots”): artists who have just left school (selected on file and then auditioned by a committee gathered around the directors) take advantage of a residency of a few weeks to set up a professional project; their first. In summer, a festival is held there, people come here to see shows with the family, sipping rosé and tasting the local gastronomy. Autumn, in turn, experienced artists work on new pieces until winter, the time of rest. And so on. Assumed, the metaphor is efficient, well found…

And in tune with the times. Here we are, then, under a radiant autumn sun, on Monday September 19, in the presence of an armada of programmers from France and Navarre who have come to discover the end of residency of four “young shoots” 2022 projects (for the first time, the latter present their successful creation, and not their simple model). The invitation, proposed by the Artistic Office of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, is hard to refuse. Everyone finds there the opportunity to spot the talents of tomorrow in an idyllic setting (bordered by an arm of the Charente, the estate of several hectares is ideally located out of time), to discuss the future of performing arts under apple trees facing “Casares style” tortillas and to visit the house where the ghosts of the exiled actress and her lover Albert Camus who died in 1960 live. Needless to say, Johanna Silberstein and Matthieu Roy know how to receive and highlight their site labeled “cultural meeting center”.

Make way for the four shows, eclectic astonishments, where only the darkness of the artistic remarks imposes itself as the denominator of a day conceived as a theatrical marathon. A topical question (surely), a question of generation (perhaps); whatever the case, the anxiety-provoking world depicted in the theater clashed with the sweetness of the Charente countryside. green territory bluethe first piece, signed Gwendoline Soublin and directed by Marion Lévêque (a Pictave trained at ENSATT) tells the fate of two teenagers after a nuclear disaster. Her name is N. His name is K. Together, they flee a dying, fascinating world, to invent something else. Try to love yourself. Trying to conceive a baby, why not. Try, also, to dialogue with the fossilized man (not quite alive, not quite dead) sitting in the house where the confused couple has taken up residence. Excessively marked out by the codes of dystopia (we think a lot of fighters, Thomas Cailley’s first film released in 2014), the play suffers from its many references. But linguistic research (a Newspeak that sounds like Celinian slang a little old school) is interesting and the direction of actors (Lauriane Mitchell and Yoann Jouneau) is as delicate as it is promising. Not bad for a first show. Marion Lévêque should be talked about in the years to come. Let’s take the bet. Let’s hope so.

The following is a show bordering on shadow theatre, puppetry and cartoons: Eugene. A unique piece, written by a German, Tankred Dorst (1925 – 2017), directed (and translated) by Youn le Guern-Herry. Appears on set, then essentially behind a translucent veil (hosted by Rose Guillon and Elise Rale), the Germanic cousin of the Little Prince. As in the tale of Saint-Exupéry, a disheveled hero with post-Socratic tendencies embarks on an initiatory journey. Without any sentimentality, the artists show us a world where the marginalized find it difficult to find their place. We appreciate visual inventions. We are struck by the melancholy tone of the subject. We deplore a problem of rhythm and some lengths… Perhaps it would have been better to free ourselves from the narrative frame to bring out the spectacular essence of the text… Who knows? Youn le Guern-Herry and his family still have the material to do a great job.

Cantor of autofiction, author of a considerable photographic work, Herve Guibert is currently being rediscovered by new generations. This is the case of the director Arnaud Vrech educated at the Ecole du Nord. He brings to the plateau To the friend who didn’t save my life where the cult author evokes the AIDS virus (of which he was a victim), the figure of Michel Foucault (of which he was the lover) and the question of betrayal (which obsessed him). On stage, the piece imposes itself as contemporary (it would have its place in the small room on the Hill). Guibert’s tortuous writing clashes with Vrech’s minimalist style. The whole thing is a little confusing (the young artists didn’t choose the easiest novel to adapt), but we discover three excellent actors – Clement Durand, Cecilia Steiner and John Weber – which impose their magnetic presence on the stage. Hypochondriac spectators (including us) should have the right to spend the day after the performance in bed.

Last but not least : The sleepless nights by Dostoevsky by Mathias Zakhar, another graduate of the Ecole du Nord, decidedly. It is the story of a meeting between a young man and a young woman on a bridge. It is a magnificent text (which we had never read) where the Russian soul is harshly put to the test. And it’s a trying piece, which would surely have deserved to be brought up in the program (but perhaps the bi-frontal device prevented it). Anyway, Mathias Zakhar chose to amplify the intensity of the feelings of his protagonists. For the better (the two actors, Anne Duverneuil and Charlie Fabert are breathtaking) and for the worse (the second half of the piece, vociferated, is exhausting). The video, too, is a bit dated and fussy. The proposed show needs to mature. Unless it is up to us, “old branch”, to rejuvenate… All the same, if Mathias Zakhar struggles to orchestrate his two voices (super powerful), we cannot take away from him the inventiveness of his quasi-choreographic staging . With a bench and a corridor, it brings about the desire, the immensity of a city and the ambivalence of the feelings of two (or rather three) lovers. Now on to time. Or rather that of the seasons. These young shoots are promising.

Igor Hansen-Løve –

The young shoots of Maison Maria Casarès