Go from boards to video. Confinement requires, the Comédie Française adapts and launched an online channel on Monday to continue its activity despite the coronavirus pandemic. Eric Ruf, actor director and administrator of the Comédie française since 2014, tells Europe 1 about this new adventure. "Given my level of 'geekitude' I would have fallen from my chair if someone had told me that one day," jokes the actor. "I am making progress by leaps and bounds."
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Two treasures: captations and the troop
With "La Comédie continue", the theatrical institution's website offers varied programs every day from 4 p.m. until the end of the evening. "The principle is twofold: there are two treasures in French comedy", underlines Eric Ruf. "The filmed repertoire, [or] 10,000 titles approximately. It is an absolute richness." And the other treasure, "it's the troop".
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"An actor does not make a bar on the ground, no ranges. He is used to an art which is only collective so there I have 60 actors in their confinement who rush in the stretchers and absolutely want to work", smiled the general administrator, referring to the motto of the Comédie Française, "simul et singulis" (to be together and to be yourself).
Orientation and reading for graduates
From 4 p.m., programs for schoolchildren begin. The actors lend themselves to the game of the French baccalaureate with the program "The actors pass the bac". "We asked the high school teachers we work with to give us the texts of the program and how we could help them," says Eric Ruf. The actors therefore read texts provided for in the French test program and then make a comment as an actor on the characters. The Comédie Française is a partner of National Education. "It panics the troop a little, a lot we flee school to be an actor," jokes the general administrator.
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Then, an orientation module is proposed. "There are 70 jobs at the Comédie Française," explains Eric Ruf. "I started the ball myself." Everyone is invited to tell their daily trade, their journey, to give ideas to spectators and especially to young students in full school orientation.
Two curtain raisers
Then come two curtain raisers. The first is scheduled at 6.30 pm "We do a lot of monologue, children's shows, cabarets", explains Eric Ruf. The second, around 8:30 p.m., offers recordings of classic works from the troupe's repertoire such as Le Misanthrope , by Molière, directed by Clément Hervieu-Léger. The program can be found on the Comédie Française website.