62nd Festival d'Avignon
4-26 July 2008

Before creating this 62nd Festival, we spent a great deal of time talking with the actress Valérie Dréville and the Italian artist Romeo Castellucci, whom we asked to be associate artists together. They are in very different creation spaces. Valérie Dréville, an actress, built an artist's career with directors such as Antoine Vitez, Claude Régy, Alain Françon and Anatoli Vassiliev. Romeo Castellucci, the creator of his own shows, has invented a sensitive and visual form of theatre that is extraordinarily powerful. Their art forms always offer the spectators an opportunity to have a strong and singular experience and often lead them to unexpected territories, to hear beyond words, to see beyond images. We chose to publish one of our conversations to accompany the spectators in their journey through the Festival.

This Festival's creations query us on life and death, on our fears and melancholy, our need to love and to believe, to grow and transmit. Based on contemporary writings or revisiting the great works of the European repertory, they will call on our curiosity, our desire for discovery and will sometimes take us into an unknown land to better stimulate our own critical spirit.

As it encompasses the mystery of the human being in all his complexity, as it calls on the spectator's intelligence and respects the freedom of his viewpoint on the shows, this Festival is political and resists the temptations to simplify what surround us. It reminds us that theatre has carried within itself, since its very beginnings, that paradoxical desire for a common image of the world that is shared by the spectators who are present, together, at an experience but that will strike each of them differently. In this sense, it symbolically goes beyond the venue of the theatre itself and invests the city. That is why public policies, in France as in Europe, need to consider artistic creation as an unalienable public good and that its production and programming must be supported apart from just the laws of the market, in an approach centred on solidarity and sharing.

We await you, artists and spectators, this summer in Avignon, so that theatre comes to pass and, we, together bear witness to its necessity, diversity and vitality.

Hortense Archambault et Vincent Baudriller
Avignon, 7 March 2008