Les Paravents

by Jean Genet

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The 2007 archive

Frédéric Fisbach

Vitry / Tokyo

Les Paravents © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


Frédéric Fisbach was born in 1966. When he left the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique, he worked as an actor with Stanislas Nordey's troupe at the Théâtre Gérard-Philipe in Saint-Denis, and also at the Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre. In 1996, he decided to become a stage director. He developed a rapport with the theatre based on certain guidelines and has remained faithful to them: he places research on an equal footing with production, the audience is central to his work as a stage director (involving spectators before and during performances for example), he seeks to add force to his work by using a mixture of artistic practices and forms which are adapted to the texts being presented on stage, and he has always sought styles and techniques outside of France which challenge the Western approach. The new theatre forms which came out of his guiding principles are what have made Frédéric Fisbach's work original in the French theatre scene since his L'Annonce Faite À Marie (The Tidings Brought to Mary) by Paul Claudel in 1996, followed by Vladimir Mayakovsky's Un Avenir Qui Commence Tout De Suite (A Future Present) and August Strindberg's unfinished work, Island of the Dead/The Tomb Keeper. After being awarded the Villa Medicis Prize Japan in 1999, Frédéric Fisbach began to establish close ties with Japanese theatre which led him to direct actors from Tokyo in Nous, les Héros (Us, The Heros) by Jean-Luc Lagarce. He went on to direct Tokyo Notes by Oriza Hirata in 2000 and a new production of Les Paravents (The Screens) by Jean Genet with puppeteers from the Japanese Yukiza Theatre in 2002. His next production was again with Japanese actors, and again an Oriza Hirata play, Folk of Seoul, in 2005. Along the way, Frédéric Fisbach met choreographer Bernardo Montet, and together they created a “Performance Academy” for a production of Jean Racine's Bérénice where dance, song and music each play a role alongside drama. With stage director Robert Cantarella, Frédéric Fisbach has worked on two projects, one on Molière and the other on Corneille, the latter culminating in L'Illusion Comique (The Comedy of Illusion). For Roland Fichet's Animal some of the rehearsals took place in Cameroon, with the recurrent idea of being open to others. Frédéric Fisbach has also directed operas, with his usual curiosity leading him to stage contemporary operas – Forever Valley by Gérard Pesson, libretto by Marie Redonnet, in 2000; Kyrielle du Sentiment des Choses by François Sarhan with a libretto by Jacques Roubaud in 2003, Shadowtime by Brian Ferneyhough, libretto by Charles Bernstein in 2004, as well as a baroque opera by Haendel, Aggripina, in 2003. His unusual career path has also led him to head the Studio-théâtre de Vitry (2002 to 2006). Today, he is co-director of “104” with Robert Cantarella, which is a new cultural centre established by the Paris City Hall and open to all forms of art. In taking up the post of director at “104”, Frédéric Fisbach pursues the predominant issues in his work as stage director, i.e. creating a place which is attentive to the relationship between artists and a general public that is firmly rooted in its social and cultural environment. At the Avignon Festival, Frédéric Fisbach has already played in Vole Mon Dragon (Fly, My Dragon) by Hervé Guibert in 1994 directed by Stanislas Nordey, and has been present as a stage director with Jean Racine's Bérénice, co-directed by Bernardo Montet, in 2001, L'Illusion Comique by Pierre Corneille in 2004 and Gens de Séoul (Folk of Seoul) by Oriza Hirata in 2006.

The most famous and undoubtedly the least performed of the works of Jean Genet (1910 - 1986), Les Paravents (The Screens), is a long dramatic poem set at the time of the Algerian War. It also marks the beginning of the author's political commitment, up-turning established values to glorify subversion, cancelling out all ideal or Manichean views of History. As a genuine and constant exploration of theatrical representation, this piece is both fleeting and fascinating. Frédéric Fisbach, who enjoys juxtaposing different arts on the stage to make the texts heard in an alternative way, has, for the telling of this epic poem (a journey to the land of the dead) opted for the simplicity and clarity that comes when skills are stretched to the full capacity of their qualities.
The Yukiza puppeteers from Japan (two voice actors, three main character actors and a musician who lives on stage amplifying and spatialising the voices), give life with precision and virtuosity to the 96 characters in this tragicomic fantasy tale. Frédéric Fisbach takes on the contradiction, super-posing, fakes, truth and lies, trompe l'œil and the craziness that Genet calls his own, and manages to bring out the different partitions of this tale, as in a sort of suite concertante, sometimes halting, sometimes enchanting. Playing on all registers, from secretive to gushing, from comic to tragic, from poetical to trivial, he invites the audience to a party which is as good as those Jean Genet demanded for his plays.


avec:le Théâtre de marionnettes traditionelles japonais Youkiza
mise en scène :Frédéric Fisbach
avec :Valérie Blanchon, Christophe Brault, Laurence Mayor, Giuseppe Molino, Benoît Résillot
et les marionnettistes du Théâtre de marionnettes Youkiza :Youki Magosaburo, Youki Chie, Youki Ikuko,Setuko Arakawa, Junko Hashimoto, Kou Hiraï
scénographie :Emmanuel Clolus
lumières et vidéo :Daniel Lévy
création musicale et sonore,: dispositif temps réel Thierry Fournier
interprétation musique et son :Jean-Baptiste Droulers
costumes acteurs et marionnettes :Olga Karpinsky
marionnettes :Théâtre de marionnettes Youkiza (Tokyo)
assistant à la mise en scène :Alexis Fichet
interprète :Hiromi Asaï
régie générale :Rémi Claude
administration :Christine Chalas, Emmanuelle Favre-Bulle
production :Théâtre Youkiza Keizo Maeda
texte publié :aux éditions Gallimard


coproduction 2007: Studio-théâtre de Vitry, Festival d'Avignon
avec le soutien de: la Région Île-de-France, du Théâtre Jean Vilar de Vitry-sur-Seine et du ministère de la Culture japonais
coproduction de la création en 2002 : Création résidence Le Quartz-Scène nationale de Brest, Ensemble Atopique, Studio-théâtre de Vitry, Théâtre national de la Colline, Setagaya Public Théâtre (Tokyo), Théâtre de marionnettes Youkiza, Le Maillon-Scène nationale de Strasbourg, Théâtre de l'Union-Centre dramatique national de Limoges, Théâtre Jean Lurçat-Scène nationale d'Aubusson
avec l'aide :du ministère de la Culture - DRAC Île-de-France, du département
du Val-de-Marne et de la Ville de Vitry-sur-Seine, de la DRAC Limousin et de la Région Limousin
avec le soutien de :l'AFAA - ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Service
culturel de l'Ambassade de France au Japon

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