What happens when someone reaches their limits and decides to abandon everything, deserting their friends, family and career, severing all ties, and forsaking everything that made them a social being?
What happens to those who are left behind?
2,500 adults disappear without trace every year in France, without ever giving their family or friends the slightest sign of life. Some are found again but their secret is safe because one has the right to disappear.
In cases of voluntary disappearances, men or women often describe feeling as though a vice is closing around their lives and then breaking free as though escaping prison. These tales often have the same feel as a good thriller, but I am more interested in the stories of those left behind.
Here, we hear a woman speaking about her son, who disappeared voluntarily for unknown reasons. She speaks of someone who has gradually become a shadow over time, whose image is being irrevocably erased.
She delves into certain scenes from her past, as if she were looking through photos that liberate her speech, motivate her to tell her tales and impel her to reassemble a puzzle that is forever missing a piece. She does not try to understand or explain the disappearance. She wants only to outline what is missing, what is lacking. She traces a sign, a gesture, a phrase - hoping to find an imprint and walk in the footsteps of someone who is no longer there, whose absence fills her home. She is not grieving - that is over now – on the contrary, she is using the power of her tale to breathe life into a phantom presence and stop herself hearing the silence of absence.
La Traversée was created in 2005. The company performs its shows in France and abroad, at the Avignon festival and in a number of theatres in Paris: Théâtre de la Bastille, Maisons des Métallos, Théâtre de l’Échangeur, and the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale.
During the 2007 festival, the company formed partnerships with different cultural bodies from the Hauts de France region in France, which naturally led to the company moving to there in 2012. Cédric Orain is associate artist at the Phénix - Scène Nationale theatre at Valenciennes / European Creative Hub and the Maison de la Culture at Amiens, Scène Nationale theatre – European Creative hub for new productions, and in residence at Ma scène nationale theatre – Pays de Montbéliard.
Recent new productions: Notre Parole (Our Word), based on Valère Novarina’s texts, D comme Deleuze (D for Deleuze), based on the life’s work of Gilles Deleuze, l'Amour pur (Pure Love), based on the eponymous book by Augustina Isquierdo.
Company La Traversée
Maison de la Culture d’Amiens – Pôle européen de création et de production
Avec le soutien du Centquatre-Paris.
Partners and supports
The project received the support of the Region
Hauts-de-France, for « Hauts-de-France » in
La Traversée is supported by Ministère de
la Culture – Direction régionale des affaires
culturelles Hauts-de France and Région
Hauts-de-France for its projects.
I originally studied engineering, but gave it all up for the theatre. I then trained as an actor at the Grenoble Conservatoire, and then took the Classe Libre course at the Cours Florent theatre school.
I founded the company, La Traversée, because I felt a curious need to create a show. I gathered together the writings of Antonin Artaud, so as to make his voice heard and to fight all imprisonment. It was a sign of things to come!
My shows are based on texts that were not written for theatre. I want to tell a story that has not yet been written, to continue to write that story on stage and uncover buried voices - voices that have disappeared and been cast out of the realm of acceptable speech. I seek many voices, both in written texts and elsewhere. That is why I enjoy taking on writing commissions and working on projects with other artists from different disciplines. It nourishes my work.