Théâtre du Soleil

Théâtre du Soleil
Cartoucherie 75012 Paris

Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théâtre du Soleil
bring the ECOLE NOMADE – Travelling School

Actors, like all artists, are explorers;
an actor is someone who makes their way along a very long,
very deep, very strange and sometimes very dark tunnel, and, who, like a miner,
gathers up stones: amongst these stones, he might hope to find a diamond,
and the work of cutting it into shape begins.

I believe that this is what actors mean when they talk about being on an ‘adventure’.
In any case, this is what the adventure means to me.
Travelling deep into the human soul, the soul of society,
and then making your way back;
that is the first stage of the adventure. 

Ariane Mnouchkine,
cited in Béatrice Picon-Vallin : Ariane Mnouchkine (Actes sud papiers), 2009.

For a long time now — in fact almost since the very beginning — the thinking which
animates the Théâtre du Soleil has associated, whether consciously or not, creation and
transmission, production, and apprenticeship: theatre and school.
Every time we start preparing a new show, we begin by running a ‘grand stage’ – a great big
workshop – in our theatre in Paris, during which we try to bring together more than 300
actors or aspiring actors, from all over the world, to foster connections between their work
and ours. At times we have been able to offer similar workshops elsewhere, in different
countries, when we have been invited on tour.
These encounters are, we hope, nourishing for all involved; they certainly have proved to be
so for us, and we now wish to multiply them, by setting up our École Nomade, or Itinerant
The sessions of the École Nomade will not simply be drama classes; they will, rather,
constitute moments of practical reflection, in which we seek to set out, explain, and clarify
our methods, and to share our collective way of working. And the point of all this? Because
this is how we, at the Théâtre du Soleil, explore, try, fail, and begin again. In short, this is
how we work.
Over the last fifty years, thanks to its diversity, its mixed character, combined with its
constant sense of purpose – and, of course thanks to both public funds and good fortune – our
troupe has been able to grow, to renew itself, and…. to survive. This is why we believe that it
is the collective nature of our work as a troupe that we should be explaining to others and
trying to pass on.