“The Comédie-Française carries within it this utopia that consists of reading the present in the light of the past, its missions being too vast and the curiosity of its artisans too insatiable to be reduced to one meaning rather than another. The common catalyst remains its Troupe and all its departments, working tirelessly to lead you on these fanciful paths.”
Artistic vision, the art of choosing
The General Administrator of the Comédie-Française is appointed for five years by the French President upon the proposal of the Minister of Culture.
He or she is appointed on the basis of an artistic and strategic project for the Comédie-Française.
Numerous artistic responsibilities are involved:
– the artistic programming of the three stages and in external venues;
– selecting plays, and, in cooperation with the Reading Committee, enriching the Repertoire;
– choosing directors and casts for plays;
– hiring actors, who join the Troupe with the status of pensionnaires.
Serving a great “House” like no other
As a public institution devoted to the dramatic arts, the Comédie-Française is at the same time a place of:
– artistic creation and adventures
– history to be kept alive and prolonged
– heritage to be protected and shared
The roles of a CEO
The General Administrator runs the institution (which has the status of an EPIC, Établissement public à caractère industriel et commercial). In this capacity, he chairs the Board of Directors, the General Assembly of Sociétaires, the Reading Committee, the boards of directors of the two subsidiaries of the Comédie-Française (Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier and Studio-Théâtre), and the representative social bodies.
In addition to artisticstrategy, the General Administrator, along with the Managing Director (appointed by the Minister of Culture upon the General Administrator’s proposal), is responsible for:
– the general running of the theatre,
– social, administrative and financial management,
– the policy of cultural, educational action and outreach to the broadest possible public,
– external relations, partnerships and the development of patronage...
Educated at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d'arts Olivier de Serres and at the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique, Éric Ruf has been the General Administrator of the Comédie-Française since August 2014. An actor, director and set designer, he joined the Maison de Molière as a pensionnaire on 1 September 1993, became its 498th sociétaire on 1 January 1998 and a sociétaire honoraire on December 24th, 2014. He has pursued an artistic strategy in which productions directed by established masters (Ivo van Hove, Deborah Warner, Alain Françon, Christiane Jatahy, Stéphane Braunschweig, Robert Carsen and Lars Norén) have been programmed along side emerging talents (Julie Deliquet, Chloé Dabert, Marie Rémond, Maëlle Poésy and Louise Vignaud). “The mission of the Administrator”, he says, “is to dream up the most fertile combinations between the chosen repertoire and the visions of the artists invited to stage the plays. We joyfully practice the art of mixing –ancient, classical, modern, contemporary all thrown together– the main thing being that this theatre always says more than reality and that it brings us back to reality in some roundabout way. The performance is our common purpose, the contribution made by the buzzing hive that is our House.”
As a director and scenographer for theatre as well as for opera and ballet, he co-wrote and directed Du désavantage du vent (Les Solitaires Intempestifs) and Les Belles endormies du bord de scène at the Centre dramatique de Bretagne and the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Jean-Christophe Marti’s Histoire de l'an un, Maurienne Ohana’s Récit de l'an zéro, Christiane Montalbetti’s Le Cas Jekyll at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Le Pré aux clercs at the Opéra Comique, and Pelléas et Mélisande at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, for which he also designed the scenography. For the Comédie-Française, he has staged and designed sets for Racine’s Bajazet (Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier – 2017), Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Salle Richelieu – 2015) and Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (Grand Palais – 2012).
As a set designer, among other institutions, he has worked with the Opéra Comique (Messager’s Fortunio, Hérold’s Le Pré aux clercs, and the upcoming production of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory), the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Donizetti’s Dom Pasquale, Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Cavalli’s La Didone, Mozart’s Mithridate), the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord (Molière’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme), the Opéra national de Paris (La Source, a ballet by Jean-Guillaume Bart), which he is returning to in June 2017 for Rossini’s La Cenerentola directed by Guillaume Gallienne, and, of course, the Comédie-Française, where he has designed sets for many productions: Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, Da Silva’s Vie du grand dom Quichotte et du gros Sancho Pança, Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Victor Hugo’s Lucrèce Borgia, Molière’s George Dandin, La Critique de l'école des femmes and Le Misanthrope, Marcel Aymé’s Le Loup, Jules Verne’s 20,000 lieues sous les mers and Marivaux’s Le Petit-Maître corrigé.
As an actor, he has worked in the theatre under directors such as Jacques Lassalle, Patrice Chéreau, Alain Françon, Denis Podalydès, Christian Schiaretti, Anatoli Vassiliev, Yves Beaunesne, Jean-Yves Ruf, Éric Vignier, Jean-Pierre Vincent, Jean-Luc Boutté and Jean Dautremay. In cinema and television, he has appeared in works by Yves Angelo, Nicole Garcia, Arnaud Desplechin, Nina Companeez, Josée Dayan and Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi.
He was awarded the Prix Gérard-Philipe of the City of Paris in 1999, he won Molière awards for set design and supporting male actor for Cyrano de Bergerac in 2007, the Prix Beaumarchais from the Figaro newspaper and the Grand Prix du Syndicat de la Critique for the best theatre production of the year for Peer Gynt in 2012, and in 2016 the Molière award for visual creation for the adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 lieues sous les mers.
Éric Ruf has been made a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts et Letters.
En raison du renforcement des mesures de sécurité dans le cadre du plan Vigipirate « Urgence attentat », nous vous demandons de vous présenter 30 minutes avant le début de la représentation afin de faciliter le contrôle.
Nous vous rappelons également qu’un seul sac (de type sac à main, petit sac à dos) par personne est admis dans l’enceinte des trois théâtres de la Comédie-Française. Tout spectateur se présentant muni d’autres sacs (sac de courses, bagage) ou objets encombrants, se verra interdire l’entrée des bâtiments.