Theatre Témoin was founded in Toulouse in 2007 by graduates of the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) as a forum for creating new works of theatre that are both socially engaged and fun. Our first project, Borderline, was a farcical look at the bureaucracy of the French immigration system. The cast was concurrently volunteering at the CIMADE – an organization that provides legal counsel for undocumented immigrants and their families – and it was this work that gave the piece most of its vitality, depth, and relevance. While creating Borderline we came to understand the importance – not just socially, but artistically – of dialoguing and collaborating with the communities around us. In 2010 we moved our base back to London and have since produced projects in the UK, USA, Mexico, Rwanda, India, Israel, and Lebanon.
1. To collaborate with a diverse range of people, companies, and communities in the creation of quality theatre which creates change because it is personal, not because it is didactic. We see the theatre as a space to share our questions, not to propound messages – we strive to create work that is engaging, moving, and fun.
2. To increase access to theatre as a means of self-expression, in areas and communities where it may not be readily available – through workshops, performances, and collaborations – and to document the work produced, if any, so that it can reach a greater audience.
3. To work continually to embrace new people, views, stories, and experiences so that the theatre we create reflects the world which creates us.
The majority of our core members are trained in Lecoq pedagogy, but we have also collected a team of artists from many other backgrounds along the way. Our approach to devising is non-hierarchical and image-based, and our process and team vary from project to project.
Because of the long-term nature of the devising process, we usually cast through word-of-mouth as opposed to posting open calls; if you are interested in working with Témoin, please send us your CV and a letter detailing your areas of interest, and join our mailing list to keep up-to-date on future projects.
The act of witnessing does not exist as a verb in French.
One can only “be a witness” passively–“être témoin.”
The active verb, “témoigner,” means to testify.