Designed by architect Maria Godlewska and inaugurated in 2013, La FabricA is the Festival’s only permanent venue. With its large stage (up to 38.2 x 23.4 metres) and impressive ceiling height (10.5 metres under the walkways, 12 metres under the grid), it is totally soundproof and allows companies and artists to try anything they want, but also to prepare to face the mythical and mysterious stage of the Cour d’honneur du Palais des papes. With its eighteen rooms, its dining room, its kitchen, and its workshop areas, La FabricA is also a high-performance working tool, and a real support for artistic creation. It is at once flexible and modular, a majestic laboratory, and secret and inward-looking, a modern cloister for artistic teams who wish to be able to focus entirely on their creations in anticipation of the Festival.
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A place for residencies and creation
A place for artistic and cultural actions
Located in the Monclar and Champleury neighbourhoods, which have been the object of urban requalification and regeneration projects, La FabricA provides the south of Avignon with a tool for cultural decentralisation year-round, turning the outskirts of the city into both a place of experimentation and a centre of action. Thanks to its annual survey, the Festival d’Avignon knows its audience well, and has worked for over eight years to translate those analyses into projects whose aim is to broaden its audience, not in terms of numbers but of diversity (age, social and geographical backgrounds, etc.). La FabricA embodies this public service mission, being both a place where artists and audiences can meet and a third place that has welcomed ambitious projects of artistic and cultural education, in partnership with regional actors (educators, associations, hospitals, etc.).
In 2019, 6,300 people came to La FabricA to take part in panels, workshops, education projects, visits, residency presentations, or training sessions (not including shows during the Festival).
An expression of important public policy questions within the network of urban policy such as the access to culture, to information, to mobility, and to better social integration, La FabricA plays a part in changing outlooks: outlooks on the performing arts, on artists, on the surrounding neighbourhoods, on economic vitality, on oneself and on others… It is at once the symbol and the place of the Festival’s continuous action towards both festivalgoers and others.
A place of diffusion
In July, during the Festival, the rehearsal room turns into a 600-seat venue, with a big enough stage to host great productions with important scenographic and technological needs, and whose technical constraints would make them impossible to perform in other venues of the Festival. The seats, removed during rehearsals, are put back in, the stage is rearranged, and the Festival’s permanent venue is ready to welcome spectators. This is the 3-kilometre decentralisation project in action, here, 900 metres away from the battlements, unlike the 20 or so venues located within the walls of Avignon. Opposite the gymnase Paul Giéra, which turns into an auditorium every summer, it becomes a totem building, bringing the neighbourhood together. As soon as it was inaugurated, La FabricA became the scene of colossal projects and long epics that will long be remembered. Thomas Jolly’s 18-hour-long adaptation of Henry VI, Julien Gosselin’s literary adaptations without intermission, the minutiae of Macha Makeïeff’s dreamlike installations, the sets designed by Anne-Cécile Vandalem, or those made of planes, understages, and trapdoors conceived by the visual and visionary mind of Dimitris Papaioannou.