Robin Renucci takes the reins of the La Criée theater in Marseille on Friday

Robin Renucci takes the reins of the La Criée theater in Marseille on Friday

After eleven years at the helm of La Criée, in Marseille, a national dramatic center which she has largely dusted off by opening it up to the outside world, Macha Makeïeff passes the baton to Robin Renucci, who wants to continue to promote a young generation of directors, especially women. “La Criée is the culmination of my link with the Mediterranean and several decades of reflection on the meaning of decentralization”says the new 65-year-old director, who takes office on Friday July 1.

The one who created a cultural center in Corsica and until now headed Les Tréteaux de France, another national drama center but itinerant, would like to continue this relocated relationship with the spectators in Marseille.“Bringing large audiences to places is a great story of theater but basically, going to meet audiences where they are, it is undoubtedly an era in which we have entered definitively”he analyzes.

The reconquest and the renewal of the public, scalded by two years of pandemic, is a long-term work. “We have found our audience, around 80% attendance, we still have between 35 and 40% young people, all of this is the daily work, of ants, of relations with the public”explains to Macha Makeïeff, 69 years old.

A job that is “also relays with associations, teachers, great social partners”she adds. “I believe as deeply as the fact that we are multidisciplinary” played. Circus, dance, music, theatre, visual arts: the various programs of Macha Makeïeff, visual artist, actress and director, have systematically had transversality as their watchword. “What mattered to me was the mixture of arts” because “this separation of theater from other arts is for me a primary anomaly”says the one who has always asserted her fantasy.

A creativity, combined with the buoyant wind of Marseille European Capital of Culture in 2013, which allowed this “a bit winded liner” what La Criée was in 2011 to transform itself profoundly, despite limited resources. “I have a house which is, for the second largest city in France, underfunded but I have never made it an obstacle”notes the director, who nevertheless obtained subsidies from the region and the department, in addition to those of the State and the city.

Refocusing on theatrical practice

“It is obviously a question of continuing this work by trying to center it on the question of dramatic art”, advances Robin Renucci, who sees multidisciplinarity more as an integral part of theatrical creation. And wishes to make theatrical practice, amateur as professional, one of its milestones: “There is of course coming to see works in a place but there is also a large part of artistic and cultural education since the childhood of the spectators and popular education throughout life”.

“Practicing is very important and then thinking too, through moments of encounter around the shows”details the one who would like to create bridges with the world of school and that of caregivers.

Like Macha Makeïeff, Robin Renucci claims to be at a point in a career “already very accomplished” where he especially wants “to transmit” maintaining a real “intergenerational relationship”, especially with young female artists. Whether it’s Julie Berès, Alice Zeniter or Louise Vignaud, whom he will surround himself with in the coming seasons, “it is absolutely necessary that the authors, the directors can approach shows of large sets” at La Criée, he insists.

“The lives of women are made of successive emancipations”, abounds Macha Makeïeff, who will take over the management of her company, “Mademoiselle”, in Aix-en-Provence. From there, “I will always look at Marseille with great affection”, she promises. This city which “has escaped so many patterns, standards, that you can really invent it, shift things without it producing a revolution”.

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