Séverine Chavrier, future director of the Comédie de Genève

After six years at the helm of the National Drama Center in Orleans, Severine Chavrier He will take over the helm of the Comédie de Genève on July 1, 2023. one changing landscape both geographically and institutionally – “French and Swiss mentalities, as well as the idea of ​​creation on the set are very different,” he emphasizes – he emphasizes that the actress, director, musician is happy, but also feels the duty to “learn everything again”. Or almost. His arrival in French-speaking countries is actually a back to basics. Raised in the border town of Annemasse (Haute-Savoie), Séverine Chavrier studied piano at the Geneva Conservatoire, where she rubbed shoulders with many young Swiss artists, particularly at La Manufacture de Lausanne. This period of apprenticeship, in his eyes, explains his commitment to art, the founder of his creativity special attachment to Switzerland, other arguments convinced him to apply to the Comédie de Genève. First of all, when it is established in the Eaux-Vives district in 2021, the size of the equipment will be completely renewed (two rooms with 500 and 200 seats, two rehearsal rooms, workshops for the production of sets and costumes, public spaces) ) A flagship production house in the heart of Europe; then its multidisciplinary character, with a quarter of the program devoted to dance; finally, the opportunity to host artists from the international scene, As he tried to do in Orleans. “Think articulation between French-language creation and international creation It seemed like an interesting challenge for me”, adds Séverine Chavrier. appeal to young people is one of the worrying issues. By organizing free admission for students as soon as he took up his position at CDN Orléans, he succeeded in bringing together audiences of different generations. “I’m looking to program a theater that interests them and can speak to them,” says the future director of the Comédie de Genève, who recently produced a show. Aria da Capo (programmed next April at Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers), with four teenagers. It will also be able to count on Viva, a festival dedicated to young people this year, in collaboration with Théâtre Am Stram Gram, Le Pavillon-Association pour la danse contemporaine (ADC) and École & Culture.

When saving a place dance (especially during the La Bâtie festival, which brings together many of Geneva’s cultural venues at the beginning of the season) and music, and offers more modern circus, Séverine Chavrier will stick to her comedic persona, focused on theatrical forms. He also wishes he was as passionate about documentary theater as it is about fiction, and sensitive to “suggestions of subjective authenticity.” open programming more widely to women, and devote significant resources to them. “This will be one of the main areas of my support in the production,” explains the director, who will accompany the French-speaking designers (re-emerging and/or confirmed) for four years. It will mergeon the other hand, for two seasons, Swiss artist Thus, he will be able to present several plays from his repertoire, but also helps him perfect his knowledge of the French-speaking, even German-speaking stage and Italian-speaking Switzerland. In terms of distribution and to promote the circulation of the works, collaboration with cultural venues such as Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, where Séverine Chavrier presented two works in 2015 and 2016, will continue. Foreign shows will also be co-produced.

Especially at the international level, the new director will follow in the footsteps of his predecessors Natacha Koutchoumov and Denis Maillefer. foreign directors will create shows at Comedie With Swiss actors/actresses and technicians. Citing two recent examples of international production designed between walls, Séverine Chavrier says, “This approach is not only consistent with the creation of a European creative house, but also seems to me quite exemplary in terms of sustainability”: To the extent that it is impossibleBy Tiago Rodrigues and On the wayBy Amir Reza Koohestani.

It is related to another important axis of the project professional integration of young artists, together with several art schools, including La Manufacture, where an unprecedented system would be established. Two young graduates, one of whom graduated from the script department and the other from the staging department, will live in the theater for three years, get experience in various fields (technical, administrative, communication, etc.) and will work as assistants in the theater. staging, they will be able to build their first projects and discover other European theaters. Thus the Comédie de Genève will introduce itself places reserves and even aims to participate in the creation of the Young Romand Theater based on the French model of the Young National Theater in the long term.

Finally, regarding public relations, Séverine Chavrier intends to take advantage of the success of all the proposals (programming, mediation events, workshops dedicated to children and families, etc.) to create a new impetus. ” I would like to enhance the size of the living space, to strengthen the measures implemented there. It’s really important that people fit the equipment so that they dare to push its doors and then get interested in the kit.” A place of life, as well as thought and debate, among other things environmental problems and sustainable development, In the center of the project defended by the comedy director. While focusing on reducing the theater’s carbon footprint (by offering artists, especially international ones, longer stays on site and programming a series of performances), it wants to question the performance of institutions. on the occasion of a large annual meeting in which several cultural institutions will participate.

Called to develop the 2024/2025 season, Séverine Chavrier will use the time that separates him from this deadline to discuss with the team and meet all partners in Switzerland and various foreign countries. Transition so he did it slowly, the premiere of which will take place at the Avignon Festival in the summer of 2024 allows him to complete his next creation at the same time.

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