Le Parvis, the national Tarbes Pyrénées stage, is starting the season off to a good start with a varied program aimed at different audiences across all territories. Frédéric Esquerré, its director, wants to favor a lively, shared and friendly culture. Maintenance.
How is this start to the season going for the Parvis?
We chose to have an offer that shows the diversity of our programming, like everything we seek to develop. Until All Saints Day, there is a range of programming and partnerships that show a panorama of what the Parvis does.
With “Lost Illusions”, the idea was to show the classic but adapted by Pauline Bayle, a young director who has just taken over the management of the national dramatic arts center in Montreuil. It features six actors who play 30 characters in a rather special four-frontal arrangement. A bit like at Roland Garros. What interests us is to show the diversity of proposals that can be developed. It was a big hit with the public. We continued with the puppet ball by the company “Les Anges au Ceiling” with Camille Trouvou who has just been appointed director of the National Dramatic Center of Rouen. People could manipulate the puppets, dance. These shows are interesting because they create a slightly different way of relating between the audiences, the artists and the works. There is a proximity and a participation of the spectators different from a classic show.
This season again, youth is in the foreground
We have an entry on the youth so that they come to us, discover things. We work with the whole education system but also with a family audience. It is a strong mark of the Parvis, its DNA. We have decided, in addition to our highlight which is the Big Game (in February), to make a specific proposal every Wednesday aimed at young people and families. It is something very strong. This can be an encounter with a work (show, cinema) or workshops (cinema storytelling for toddlers, musical siesta).
The opening towards the territories is also important…
40% of what is offered at the Parvis takes place outside the walls with the network of twelve cinemas, 70 performances of shows in 25 towns (Lourdes, Bagnères, Arreau, Vieille Aure, Adé, Saint-Savin, Capvern.. .) There are mobility issues today. When you live in Argelès or Loures-BArousse, coming to the Parvis on December 15 and returning at night is complicated. We know that after the pandemic, in a climate that is still anxiety-provoking, audiences are still struggling. There is now also the history of energy costs, it is a bit complicated. We try to bring culture, works and artists to the area. There are also mobility solutions to the Parvis with buses coming from Lannemezan for example. We are in a round trip with the territory. It is not the Parvis that comes to evangelize to say what needs to be done in terms of culture but rather to work in the dynamics of co-construction with actors.
For instance ?
The first roaming tour takes place in November with “the praise of pifometry”. It is very funny. Pic, the French circus blockbuster, takes place from October 11 to 13 at Enit. It is a partnership with CROUS, ENIT, IUT as part of the student week.
Is the notion of partnership important?
We always build partnerships. We want to reinforce the image of artistic requirement but not of elitism of the Parvis. We want to be open to everyone. The development of partnerships with local actors is very important. It is a question of showing the inhabitants of the territory that the Parvis is for them as for all the others. This can then give them the desire to come back to us to discover things.
What about attendance after Covid?
We are at 80% of what we were doing in 2019. That’s very good. We are on an upward slope. We still have great potential. We feel that there is a significant tremor compared to a year ago. As with everyone, there is a before and after Covid. Nationally, overall we are on -35% for the cinema and -25% for the show. Here, we are at -25% for the cinema and -20% for the show. We are much better than the national. But we must stop referring to 2019… We must rather ask ourselves how we manage to win back the public, encourage them to return to our rooms. We are very happy with this return to school because compared to a year ago we are up 20% There, we have exceeded the number of subscribers at the end of last year. It must be said that we have considerably relaxed our subscription formulas. You can, for example, subscribe for four shows. Even for shows that are deemed sold out, there can always be last-minute seats.
Why is it important to be able to count on subscribers?
What interests us is to retain people. When we have a base of spectators who support us, it allows us to do long-term work. This allows us to develop projects that are a little more specialized, to seek out spectators who don’t come to us. We say to ourselves that we have succeeded in our mission when in the room you have the high school student who rubs shoulders with the retired subscriber who rubs shoulders with a person from an association in Bagnères who rubs shoulders with the family who comes from the Mouysset housing estate.
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