RBRB_2008_PascalenJohnIn 1999 Pascal Rambert directed his play Race with LAPD in Los Angeles. As the new director of Theatre2Gennevilliers he invited John Malpede and LAPD to create a new performance for the opening year of the theater. The production involved 36 residents of Gennevilliers and 5 LAPD’ers.

The performance was nominated for the prestigious Prix du Souffleur award for Best Ensemble in a Paris theater, and reviewed as: “A beautiful mix of cinema and theatre, of life and acting, Red Beard, Red Beard is an artistic experience and a profound human adventure” – La Nouvelle Observateur, Paris.

From February 25 through April 20, 2008, the Los Angeles Poverty Department was in residence in the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers at THEATRE 2 GENNEVILLIERS, Centre Dramatique National de Creation Contemporaine, for the French premiere of Red Beard, Red Beard.  Along with 36 residents of Gennevilliers, five Angelenos – members of LAPD – comprised four casts (three French-speaking and one in English), who performed simultaneously for intimate audiences. Performances took place from April 1- 20, 2008.

Directed by John Malpede, the production is a duet for the Akira Kurosawa film, Read Beard, and live performers. The film is shown in Japanese without subtitles and the players sit in on either and perform the text  “oratorio” style. To create the right scale between live performers and the film image, the film is not projected but shown on a 19″ television.  The performers enact scenes in the film and at other points they perform as a chorus, and use gesture to foreshadow, refer back to and otherwise amplify emotionally significant moments. To maintain the scale while performing on the large stage of Theatre 2 Gennevilliers, the  production was carried out by four casts performing simultaneously, each with its own intimate audience.  All four casts and audiences were on the 40 by 40 meter stage of Theater 2 Gennevilliers, creating moments in which the four simultaneous performances merged and then diverged.

Theatre 2 Gennevilliers is a French National Theater, funded by the National government and for 30 years directed by Bernard Sobel, an associate of Berthold Brecht. The 2008 season is the first to be programmed by new Artistic Director Pascal Rambert. In 1999 Pascal Rambert directed his play Race with a combined cast of LAPD and Cal State LA graduate student actors in Los Angeles. As the new director of Theatre 2 Gennevilliers he has invited John Malpede and LAPD to create a new performance for the opening year of the theater.

Red Beard, Read Beard is a production of Theatre 2 Gennevilliers.


RBRB_2008_castRed Beard
Tony Parker, Kamel Akli, Abdelhamid Sabri, Jean-Yves Bessam
Hadrya Zentou, Fabienne Mésenge, Viviane Miele, Chantal Fontanesi
Romain Neuillet, Finn Dickmann, Romain Adenet, Maxime Samel
Siga Magassa, Ouarda Essahli, Kherfia Benzelmat, Garmia Bouabdallah
Abdel Hakim Chakroune, Christophe Amsili, Alexandre Jodlowski, Patrice Aurand
Anne Pépin, Pilar Barthe, Marie-France Ohayon, Henriëtte Brouwers
Kevin Michael Key, Pierrick Blondelet, Taoufik Benromdhane, Christian Lapeyroux
Lise Gokool, Samira Nanna, Christiane Têtu, Orida Krouni
Dr. Mori
Rickey Mantley, Bahri Sebkhi, Gregor Roubelat, Julien Aulon
Anaïs Nony, Célina Domergue, Nora Aïssaoui, Mireille Kossi

Nicole Concordet

Produced by the Centre Dramatique National de Création Contemporaine.