On Earth, in the capital of a tiny country, young Dzitri arouses curiosity in his new school. In class, students have to speak “purely” if they don't want to be made to wear the “signal,” a shameful and disgusting necklace made of bone and claws one can only be rid of by denouncing another student who spoke “vernacular.” Whoever wears it at the end of the week is punished. Dzitri is given the necklace to wear, but he decides to get rid of it. When his masters turn language into a tool of domination, he'll make it a tool of rebellion.
This play, with its inventive style, revisits the history of the “signal,” a symbol of colonisation, and explores the power of language both to dominate others and to free oneself.
Born in Lomé in Togo in 1985, Mawusi Agbedjidji is an author, director, and actor. He studied anthropology at the university of Lomé, and dramaturgy at Paris 10 Nanterre. He began his career in theatre in 2004 and learnt dramatic writing with Koffi Kwahulé and Carole Fréchette. Since 2011, he has regularly collaborated with director David Bobée, in particular for Lucrèce Borgia, Romeo and Juliet, and Paris. He has also written with Gustave Akakpo: together, they wrote Si tu sors, je sors !, about the history of wax cloth. This coauthored text was read in RFI's How's it going, world? cycle at the Festival d'Avignon in 2016, and was performed that same year at the Francophonies en Limousin and at the festival Les Récréatrales in Ouagadougou.
Transe-maître(s) is his first text, which won him the top prize at the Journées des Auteurs de Lyon 2018 and the Prix Text'Avril 2019 awarded by the audience of the Théâtre de la Tête Noire (Saran), as well as a grant from Aide à la creation Artcena. He also directed Fissures, a text by Hala Moughanie and Aristide Tarnagda, for the Univers des mots festival in Conakry in Guinea, then at the Francophonies en Limousin festival in Limoges.
Transe-maître(s) by Mawusi Agbedjidji is published by éditions Théâtrales (2019).
Read by Lymia Vitte, Astrid Bayiha, Marcel Mankita, Athaya Mokonzi, Coralie Meride, Mawusi Agbedjidji
Reading directed by the author, with the collaboration of Armel Roussel
Conception and coordination Pascal Paradou
Artistic collaboration Valavane Koumarane