Rebecca CHAILLON
Stage director

Rebecca received a creative grant for her play Carte Noire Nommée Désir.

 

What is your artistic background?

The experience that opened this path for me was at the Théâtre du Goupil in Beauvais, between the ages of 12 and 19, with an amateur troupe that was very much like the Théâtre du Soleil and Peterbrook-esque at the same time. It was a great experience and very formative. Then there was high school, with a theatre module, twelve hours a week, and the performing arts faculty at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, the 20th century theatre conservatory, and at the age of 19 I met Bernard Grosjean, who recruited me into his theatrical discourse company, Entrées de Jeu. I worked there for twelve years, I became a mix of theatre and social worker, which affected me a lot since I am also an activist for CEMEA, a movement of popular and new education, where I have been working to accompany the spectators of the Avignon Festival since 2004. In 2006, with friends, I created my company, Dans Le Ventre, and I have been working ever since on pieces in which female identities are central. That was an artistic coming out. Since my first meeting with Rodrigo Garcia, I have been staging my obsessions with food and make-up to talk about bodies, desires and violence. I write, I direct, I act. The performance becomes a language in which I feel comfortable and powerful, as it starts from a position of intimacy to question politics.

 

How do you see your profession today?

Hmm, it depends on the day. There is the positive version first: when I feel that I'm carried by a movement of artists and activists who are forcing the world of performing arts to question itself, when I feel that it destabilizes a little the well-oiled machine that cannot escape the evils of our society (sexism, racism, capitalism...). When we finally wonder why it's always the same people who tell stories and the same people who listen to them. That urges me on. And also, the perspective that performance becomes a weapon to emancipate oneself and to multiply the stories being told. Seeing people increasingly leaving the institution and wanting to create performance spaces closer to people. That excites me! It doesn't go so well when I realize that it takes a long time, that it's a lot of exhaustion, that it's hard to let go of one's privileges, to make room, to really invite artists without wanting to appropriate them, to take their stories from them.

 

How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

I see myself in Montreuil-sous-Bois, in my collective direction of the CDN with other very multidisciplinary artists. At the same time, in a big place, with my wife and her children, her ex, her ex-wife's wife, I'll be living a little in the village of Comminges, where I'll run the "butcher's shop", a place that would be half butcher's shop, half bookshop. I hope that I will have managed to take time to write texts and get them published so that my family will believe me when I say that I write. That I could have "gone to school". And I see myself sometimes in Martinique too, where my parents come from. And that I would have learnt double bass, German, piano, Creole and the art of food.

 

This interview was conducted in 2020

Photography credit: Julia Grandperret