During the first weekend of this year’s edition of the festival Reims Scènes d'Europe in France a group of 42 young international theatre enthusiasts met at the Comédie de Reims to see shows, attend workshops and discussions, to meet and exchange with the artists presented at the festival.
Since 2015, the Union des Théâtres de l’Europe has partnered with the YPAL network to organise meetings of Young Performing Art Lovers in the context of the UTE’s CONFLICT ZONES network programme.
Initiated by Anne Goalard in 2009 in the dynamic of the Reims Scènes d’Europe festival, YPAL is an international network of young spectators united by the same interest in performing arts. The YPALs participate in the festival in Reims each year. This year Spanish, Bosniaks, German and French YPALs came together in Reims to experience and share two and a half intense days of art and exchange. Invited by Anne Goalard, programme director of Reims Scènes d’Europe at the Comédie de Reims, the YPALs were welcomed by the artistic direction of the Comédie and a group of former YPALs, now employed at the theatre.
The Reims Scènes d'Europe Festival is one of the highlights of the Comédie de Reims' programme. During ten days each year, it produces and hosts European artists from many various fields: theatre, dance, music, visual arts, circus and live arts. This year, Greece was at the centre: The artists of Greek contemporary theatre, among them the BLITZ THEATRE GROUP and the VASISTAS THEATRE GROUP, presented their latest creations Vania 10 ans après, 6 a.m. How to disappear completely and Sangs, Emata which are inhabited by the suffering and hope of a population overwhelmed by the current situation.
A public debate brought together Greek and local artists, first and foremost Ludovic Lagarde, the artistic director of the Comédie de Reims, to discuss on the role of theatre in context of the current European crisis.
The YPALs got to see even more performances: Ruines, a musical performance directed by Franck Vigroux, You’ve got my back and I’m on your side, a performance by Alice Theobald, On Balls and Brains, a theatrical investigation by Aurélien Gamboni, Mazút, circus by Baro d’Evel Cirk Cie, The French, performance after Marcel Proust, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, The Fortunetellers, performance by Ellie Ga and Stacja Nigdy w Życiu, performance by Anna Zaradny et Kasper T. Toeplitz, ApersonA, choreography, directed by Ioannis Mandafounis and Spectre(s), performance by Louise Mariotte.
Reunions at “La Bocal”, the meeting place especially created for the YPALs at the Comédie de Reims, a visit of an exhibition and workshops completed the programme.
After attending this rich programme, the YPALs headed home filled with intense impressions and new experiences facing now a phase of reflection and hopefully an excited anticipation of the next YPAL meeting.
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We believe that nothing could be more important in these times where Europe challenges so much, than young creative and engaging Europeans coming together, united by the arts (and theatre especially), reflecting on our present time, exchanging thoughts, doubts and wishes for a common future.
The festival's Blog
Hannah Lidolt, a YPAL that came in touch with the project at the TERRORisms Festival at the Schauspiel Stuttgart, Germany in June 2015, documented the meeting at her online Blog for the festival: Fil d’Hannah (Hannah’s thread). Read a short version of her personal impressions here (translated from French):
“Friday afternoon the YPALs arrived and we did a speed-dating, and then we saw two shows. What is great when you're a YPAL is, that we have the opportunity to get to know many people, to share our impression on shows and discuss. Everyone is different, even if we share the same interest in theater.
The YPALs not only go to shows: Saturday, the former YPALs ran workshops where we could reflect on the show Vania 10 après, we had seen the day before. During these workshops we really paid attention to the show by creating a performance ourselves. And most important: we had the chance to show this performance to Angeliki and Yorgos Blitz Theatre Group, and discuss with them. It was a pleasure to have the chance to interact with them.” Read more here
The YPAL Project | More info
Reims Scènes d'Europe | More info
YPAL Meeting in Reims | 29 – 31 January 2016
In the context of the CONFLICT ZONES network programme
of the Union des Théâtres de l'Europe
With the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union