Stanislas Nordey

It was in 1988 that the public discovered the director Stanislas Nordey, when he presented, at the Off festival, Marivaux's A Matter of Dispute. He had previously been an acting student in the theatre course run by his mother Véronique Nordey, then at the Conservatoire national supérieur d'Art dramatique de Paris. He then founded the Compagnie Nordey with which he was the associate artist at the Théâtre Gérard Philipe de Saint-Denis from 1991 to 1995, before joining, with his dozen actors, the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers at the invitation of its director Jean-Pierre Vincent. In 1998, he returned to the Théâtre Gérard Philipe as director, before joining the Théâtre National de Bretagne in 2001 where he was associate artist and study director of the school at the theatre for 10 years. Stanislas Nordey has also been an engaged citizen for many years, involved in social and political issues, as for example when he supported the movement of the undocumented foreigners who occupied the Saint Bernard church in Paris in 1996. Through this professional and militant itinerary, we can distinguish Stanislas Nordey's principle commitment paths in the French public theatre: a distinct taste for collective work, a deep desire for classic or contemporary theatre texts, a duty of transmission and the determination to put the actor at the heart of the performance. On stage, it is the author's words that must go through the actor's body, that must animate him in his very gesture, the set being nothing except a stripped-down frame accompanying the interpreters' work. Various but always strong words, words of the great theatre poets, Pasolini, Genet, Koltès, Müller, Stramm, Feydeau, Shakespeare, Pirandello, but also those of contemporary playwrights such as Gabily, Lagarce, Martin Crimp, Wajdi Mouawad, Fausto Paravidino, Falk Richter and more recently those of Anja Hilling. Stanislas Nordey and his actors are at their service to offer open readings that allow spectators to construct their own vision of the play. Laying claim to a theatre of the “entertainment of thought”, Stanislas Nordey works in line with Jacques Copeau, Charles Dullin or Gaston Baly, regretting that he never really knew Antoine Vitez, to whom he feels close in reading his writings on the art theatre and pedagogy. His choice of the author Peter Handke for the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des Papes fits in with the continuity of a theatre that touches the intimate, but through which we perceive a critical state of the world and a political engagement, in the militant meaning of the term. A theatre free of nostalgia, often irreverent, that does not let itself be imprisoned by the diktats of successive fashions. A theatre that does not deprive itself of disturbing the spectator, disconcerting him, asking him to accept the idea that comprehension is not necessarily immediate, that the path to the interior of a work is sometimes full of twists and turns. For Stanislas Nordey, each show is an adventure in which risk is indispensable. The Festival d'Avignon has already produced or welcomed several of his plays: Steal My Dragon by Hervé Guibert in 1994, Contention-The Dispute between Didier-Georges Gabily and Marivaux in 1997, The System by Falk Richter in 2008, with whom he premiered in 2010 My Secret Garden, a play in which he was also an actor, as he was in Skies by Wajdi Mouaward in 2009 and Love Fence by Pascal Rambert in 2011.

JFP, April 2013.