YPAL 2016 in Reims – What happened?

Like every year, the international weekend with the YPAL group in Reims unfortunately came to an end. This year we were about 40 people, including 2 Spanish, 2 Bosnia, lots of French and lots of Germans, who participated in the festival Reims Scènes d’Europe for one weekend.

You’re going to read my personal description in this article. There will be another article of the Future-YPAL stuff we gathered on our reunion sunday!


Friday afternoon, we settled down in the Bocal a mega comfortably room in La Comédie, and got our introduction by Anne Goalard, general delegate of the Festival and Ludovic Lagarde, La Comédie’s director.

Before we went to our first play, we had a speed-meeting by asking uncommonly questions to each other. It was a lot of fun, getting introduced to some new faces, although we didn’t had enough time to talk to everyone. But to be honest, I think it is quite difficult, no I it really is impossible to get to know each of 40 participants, during 2 days.

Nonetheless, I think I speak for all of us if I say we spent great time together. Our Friday began very well by watching Ruines a musical performance, Vania.10 ans après of the Greek company Blitz theatre group and dancing afterwards in the Bar.


A tough plan – YPAL meeting 2016 – program

1. Participating in a workshop, writing chronicles or reflecting the Greek play.

In Quentin’s workshop we reflected the play by remembering gestures and words which the actors had used in the play and created our own  mini-performance. We also wrote 3 announcement to the future humanity that we put in a bottle and gave it as a present to the artists. (See point 2)

2. Showing the results of our groups to Angeliki and Yorgos, 2 of 3 members of the Blitz theatre group. We presented performances and the chronicle workshop read 2 writings. All in all, both actors were super impressed and touched by our work, whereby a familiar atmosphere was created in the room. They talked a lot of their work and shared so many information with us and above all: they spend their time for us.          I think it’s really important to create a space for exchange between actors and spectators, because both sides take profits in the same way.

3. Lunch.

    A little poem:

    “Cakes, cookies, cheese and baguette, you’re going to be fat.”

I’m just joking. We really had a loooooooooot of things to eat permanently. From healthy fruits, cheese and salads to yoghurts cakes and wine! (Note: In Germany you would neither get any wine nor beer for free, to your meal. Thanks to the French.)

4. Performances or FRAC

Being YPAL is more than loving theatre. As “Arts Lovers” we visited the contemporary arts exhibition in Reims and created our own mythology story of an art object in a group. It was very funny to listen to the nonsense explanation, before knowing the resolution with its actual meaning.

We watched Mazùt at Manège, a play with 2 acrobats who invited us into a fantastical and mythical world of a contemporary circus. A rhythmical dropping water sound accompanied the play and grew into music. Back to the roots. Back to the horse; the primary circus animal. By using its movement a dance was created.

We also watched Les Français, a theatre play that takes 4h with two 15 minutes break. Accordingly the opinion about the play was divided. For my own part: It was way too long, I did never read any Proust, that’s why I didn’t really understand the content. Also, there were too many characters; I couldn’t relate each character to another. However, I have a huge respect for the actors who played 4h and there were some lines of text I really, really liked very much. All in all, for me the 2nd part was the most interesting.

Again an after DJ played in the Bar and it was a huge relief to move after sitting the most of the time. Everybody danced hilariously to DJ Thalia and after a while the actors of les Francais joined us. It amused me very much to see them freaking out and entertaining everybody, while they were dancing.


The best way to starts one’s Sunday? Listening to a debate of Greek theatre and politics between Greek artists of the Vastistas and Blitz theatre group, La Comédie’s director Ludovic Lagarde and Joseph Confavreux, a French journalist for the magazine Mediapart. For my own part it was very interesting, because of the simple fact that I didn’t know anything about cultural policy in Greece.  Well, in fact you could say that cultural policy does not really exist in this country, because the state doesn’t care at all. All in all, it was a very interesting debate, apart from the translation headphones which unfortunately had technical problems in some moments.

Again the group was split; one part went to the FRAC where I went the day before, another half watched performance. There you could have well seen the mental effort of the weekend and tiredness in everybody’s eyes.

Sadly, a lot of people left before our YPAL reunion, what means the “au-revoir” took place in passing. A small group left and talked about YPAL’s future that was in fact very productive. (There will be another article about it)

 To conclude it wanted to say that I had a great time with you guys and it would be a pleasure to meet you again in another country. (Or next year again in Reims)

I also want to say a huge thank you to everybody in La Comédie, Anne, Agnes, Oriane, Rénilde, who organised the week-end for us and took care of us so much, in every single minute and who keep the spirit alive!

Merci beaucoup et mille bises!


P.S. Christophe and his chronic team have written some amazing text about the spectacles they’ve seen. You can find some of them on the Festival’s Blog.

Do you have written an article/text/poem whatever, but it isn’t published on the Festival’s Blog? Share it on the YPAL Blog, for example you can edit this entry, create your own AND you can put all you photos/stuff in the achievement!

Go for it – Keep the spirit alive!


©photos: La Comédie de Reims