Théâtre du Loup
A multifaceted theatre centre
Swiss Theatre Award 2020
Théâtre du Loup is an independent company founded in Geneva in 1978 by Eric Jeanmonod and Sandro Rossetti. They were joined in 1981 by Rossella Riccaboni and in 2012 by Adrien Barazzone. From its earliest years, the company began making guest appearances as the Festival La Bâtie, of which it was a co-founder, performing free of charge and outside in parks or tents at locations such as the Bois de la Bâtie. Subsequent years saw performances at various venues in Geneva, including the Salle Patiño, Théâtre St. Gervais and Théâtre du Grütli, and at the Vidy in Lausanne. By the 1980s, Théâtre du Loup was touring internationally, appearing at festivals such as the Zürcher Theater Spektakel and in France, Belgium, Italy and Canada. In 1992 its production of “Le retour de Krazy Kat” at the Comédie de Genève won the Prix romand du spectacle indépendant. The company then decided to set up its own theatre, which opened in 1993 as a place for cutting-edge creation, production and training.
To date it has devised over 60 productions, including works for younger audiences. A theatre season comprises between one and three in-house productions and four or five guest appearances by local companies, giving a total of around 100 performances. Théâtre du Loup’s creations are mostly visual, encompassing stylistic elements of pantomime, often live music and the use of masks. The repertoire includes musical theatre, such as “Petit hommage à Charlie Chaplin” (1989) and “Viva la musica” (1991), for the 700th birthday celebrations of the Swiss Confederation. Each year, the company invites around 100 children aged between 7 and 16 to learn more about theatre in its own school. In 2014 Théâtre du Loup inaugurated “Le Muzoo” to house its own collection of memorabilia. A mixture of gallery, cabinet of curiosities and Ali Baba’s cave, it is located directly adjacent to the theatre and opens its doors free of charge on Sunday afternoons to reveal treasures of set design, masks and posters from the history of Théâtre du Loup. A film entitled “Loup Story, le film” retraces the company’s career since its beginnings.
“Ever since Antiquity, the wolf has been associated with the god Apollo, symbol of the powers of the wind that unite chaos with the cosmos. This wolf-god, the overseer of passage rites, is the god of initiation. He transforms the chaotic forces of adolescence into adulthood, reveals the hidden world through his prophecies, and inducts poets and musicians into their art. In Geneva, under the auspices of this deity, Théâtre du Loup is remarkable for the consistency of its work, its desire to bring all audiences together, its immense productivity and inventiveness, and its ability to reinvent itself from one generation to the next. In response to the wolf-god, let us hope that this fine place continues to take up the challenge of a tomorrow that has already arrived.”
Georges Grbic, jury member