The company

Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company was founded in 2009, bringing together Caroline Guiela Nguyen (director), Alice Duchange (set design), Benjamin Moreau (costumes), Jérémie Papin (light design), Antoine Richard (sound design), Claire Calvi (associate artist), Manon Worms (dramaturgy), Jérémie Scheidler (video, dramaturgy).

In each production, the company affirms a dual passion for fiction and the real, sides which are explored conjointly by bringing together amateur and professional actors coming from different social, geographic, cultural and spiritual horizons, so that “different worlds should meet and together we try to invent a common space”. The company’s philosophy is to have both feet firmly on the ground while affirming that the most powerful tool we possess today is our imagination: what would become of us humans if we could no longer imagine what being human meant ?

The company’s most recent production, SAIGON, was extremely well received both during the Festival Ambivalence(s) organised by the Comédie de Valence Theatre where it premiered and during the 71st edition of the Festival d’Avignon where it then transfered. It is currently on tour in France and throughout the world (China, Vietnam, Lithuania, Belarus, Germany…), and will soon have chalked up its 150th performance. SAIGON was nominated at the Molières, the principal French theatre award ceremony, in three different categories (best production in a public – subsidized – theatre, best visual creation and best living French author) and won the Georges Lherminier Prize awarded by the Association Professionnelle de la Critique de Théâtre, Musique et Danse (Best production created outside Paris). Caroline Guiela Nguyen was also awarded the SACD’s Best New Theatre Talent prize in 2018 (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques) and the Jürgen Bansemer and Ute 
Nyssen Dramaturgy Prize 2019 by Goethe-Institut Paris for SAIGON.

In 2019, Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company embarked on a new research cycle around the question of FRATERNITY which will give rise to three new productions: a film shot with inmates of the Maison Centrale d’Arles Prison, and two theatre projects in close collaboration with partners from France, Europe and further afield.  
 
The company settled in Valence in 2009, in the French Administrative Region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. 
Caroline Guiela Nguyen is Associate Artist at the Odéon, Théâtre de l’Europe, and  at The Schaubühne, Berlin. Since 2019, the company has associated with the Comédie de Reims Theatre.



Artistic team

CAROLINE GUIELA NGUYEN

WRITER, DIRECTOR

CLAIRE CALVI

ARTISTIC COLLABORATION

ALICE DUCHANGE

SET DESIGN

BENJAMIN MOREAU

COSTUMES DESIGN

JÉRÉMIE PAPIN

LIGHT DESIGN

ANTOINE RICHARD

SOUND DESIGN


JÉRÉMIE SCHEIDLER

DRAMATURGY, VIDEO

MANON WORMS

DRAMATURGY

FICTIONAL WORKS_

_ Se souvenir de Violetta (Remembering Violetta)[Theatre] 2011
Dumas-the-younger / Caroline Masini / Caroline Guiela Nguyen

_ Ses mains (Her Hands) [Theatre] 2012
Caroline Guiela Nguyen / L’équipée Theatre Company

_ Le Bal d’Emma (Emma’s Ball) [Theatre] 2013
Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company / Caroline Guiela Nguyen

_ Elle brûle (Emma’s Burning)[Theatre] 2013
Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company / Caroline Guiela Nguyen / Caroline Guiela Nguyen

_ GirlNextDoor [Electro-erotic Psalms] 2014
Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company

_ Le Chagrin (The Headache)[Theatre] 2015
Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company / Caroline Guiela Nguyen

_ Le Chagrin (Julie et Vincent) (The Headache, Julie and Vincent)[Radio play] 2016
Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Alexandre Plank et Antoine Richard
Won Prix Italia and SGDL’s Grand Prix for radio fiction 2016

_ Mon grand amour (My true Love) [itinerant work performed in people’s homes] 2016
Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company / Caroline Guiela Nguyen

_ SAIGON [Theatre] 2017
Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company / Caroline Guiela Nguyen
Prix Georges Lerminier du Syndicat de la Critique 2018 (Best production outside Paris)

_ SAIGON – À l’origine [Book] 2018
Book by Caroline Guiela Nguyen published by the Théâtre national de Bretagne les Les Hommes Approximatifs  Theatre Company

_ SAIGON – Deux êtres qui s’aiment et se promettent l’éternité [Film] 2019
Film short directed by Caroline Guiela Nguyen, produced by Les Films du Worso Production Company run by Sylvie Pialat and Benoît Quainon, and Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company. 

_ FRATERNITY, Fantastic Tales [Cycle of creations] 2019 – 2022
Arles [Court-métrage] 2020 / Paris [Theatre] 2021 / Berlin [Theatre] 2022

CAROLINE GUIELA NGUYEN

WRITER, DIRECTOR

Caroline Guiela Nguyen is a writer and director for both stage and screen. After starting out as a sociology student she joined TNS drama school. In 2009, she created her own theatre company, Les Hommes Approximatifs. Their work, drawing on their own life stories, gives centre stage to bodies and histories that the theatre has generally paid little attention to. Their shows include: Se souvenir de Violetta (2011), Ses Mains, Le bal d’Emma (2012), Elle brûle (2013), Le chagrin (2015), Mon grand amour (2016), SAIGON (2017).

Since 2015, she has also collaborated with Joël Pommerat and his company Louis Brouillard, and with Jean Ruimi creating shows at the Maison Centrale d’Arles Prison, including Désordre d’un futur passé and Marius. In 2016, she wrote and devised a radio play with Alexandre Plank and Antoine Richard, Le chagrin (Julie et Vincent) for the radio station France Culture as part of their Radiodrama series.


Awards:
2015 : Nominated for a Molière in the category of best director for Elle brûle
2016 : Prix Italia in the fiction category for new radio plays for Le Chagrin (Julie & Vincent), Grand Prix for new radiophonic fiction awarded by the Société des gens de lettres also for Le Chagrin (Julie & Vincent), nominated to the grade of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
2017 : SAIGON is the winner of ARTCENA’s bursary for artistic creation.
2018 : Nominated for a Molière in the category best living French-speaking author, won SACD’s Best New Theatre Talent prize.
2019 : Jürgen Bansemer and Ute Nyssen Dramaturgy Prize awarded by Goethe-Institut Paris for
SAIGON.

CLAIRE CALVI

ARTISTIC COLLABORATION

After studying the dramatic arts at Avignon Conservatory, then at ERCAM, a drama school in Cannes, Claire has pursued a career as an actrice principally in the French region of PACA. She has notably performed in Jean-Louis Benoit’s production of Shakespeare’s La nuit des rois [Twelfth Night], in Genet’s Les Bonnes [The Maids] directed by Ivan Romeuf, as well as in Trouble(s) and Tout ce dont with Corps de passage Theatre Company. She also collaborates with other theatre companies, namely Compagnie Rhizome and Compagnie Furiosa.
It was in 2012 that she joined Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company as associate artist on the show Le Bal d’Emma. Since then, she has collaborated on Elle brûle, Le Chagrin and SAIGON.

ALICE DUCHANGE

SET DESIGN

After a university degree in textile design, and a diploma specialised in costume creation in Lyon, Alice entered the drama school attached to the Théâtre National de Strasbourg (TNS) in the set and costume design section where she learnt the trade under the watchful eye of theatre directors including Pierre André Weitz, Daniel Jeanneteau, Alexandre Dedardel, Benoît Lambert and Richard Brunel. From 2011 to 2014 she joined 16 other artists in the shared workshop space, laMezz, in Lyon. She has also worked either on set design or costume design with Estelle Savasta, Lazare Herson Macarel, Nasser Djemaï, Anne-Laure Liegeois, Benoit Bradel, Christian Duchange, Marion Guerrero, Jean Lacornerie, Julien Geskoff, Yan Raballand, Frédéric Sonntag, Marion Chaubert and Catherine Anne. It is in her capacity as set designer that she joined Les Hommes Approximatifs Theatre Company and to date she has designed the sets for Andromaque, Se souvenir de Violetta, Le Bal d’Emma, Elle brûle and SAIGON.

http://aliceduchange.over-blog.com

BENJAMIN MOREAU

COSTUMES DESIGN

Following his training in set/costume design at TNS Drama School, he was taken on as assistant costume designer for Nada Strancar’s production of Pirandello’s La Fable du Fils substitué [The Tale of the Exchanged Son]. He went on to design the costumes for Dissocia, directed by Catherine Hargreaves, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s Visite au père, directed by Adrien Béal,
Molière’s Les Femmes savantes [The Learned Women], directed by Agnès Larroque. He has collaborated as set and costumer designer on the annual performing arts festival, Festival des Nuits de Joux, for the last three editions. He has worked with theatre director Richard Brunel, designing the costumes on J’ai la femme dans le sang, Pauline Sales’ adaptation of texts by Feydeau, and on his production of Ferdinand Brückner’s Les Criminels [Criminals]. On the project initiated by Vanessa Van Durme and directed by Brunel, Avant que j’oublie, Benjamin designed the set and costumes. As member of Les Hommes approximatifs Company, he has designed the costumes for Se souvenir de Violetta, Le Bal d’Emma, Elle brûle and SAIGON.

JÉRÉMIE PAPIN

LIGHT DESIGN

After his training in the lighting design department at TNS Drama School, he worked as a lighting designer with Didier Galas from 2008 to 2012, then lit Lazare Herson-Macarel’s shows at the Odéon Theatre, Paris and at Avignon Theatre Festival. At the Philharmonie Luxembourg Concert Hall, he worked on Cordes by Garth Knox in 2010. Between 2010 and 2016, he collaborated with numerous directors, including Eric Massé, Yves Beaunesne, Richard Brunel, Maëlle Poésy, Christian Duchange, A.Béal, Nicolas Maury, David Geselson and Julie Duclos. At Dijon Opera House he designed the lights for Opéra de la Lune by Brice Pauset and Actéon conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm, both directed by Damien Caille-Perret. He lit La Pellegrina conducted by Étienne Meyer and the opera Meine bienen eine schneise, composed and conducted by Andreas Schett and Markus Kraler, and directed by Nicolas Liautard. More recently, he has collaborated with Jeanne Candel and Samuel Achache on the lighting design of Orféo performed at Bouffes du Nord Theatre in Paris. He has been a member of Les Hommes Approximatifs Company since 2008, for which he has designed the lighting on Macbeth, Se souvenir de Violetta, Le Bal d’Emma, Elle brûle, Le Chagrin and SAIGON.

ANTOINE RICHARD

SOUND DESIGN

After his training in the department of sound design at Ensatt, a national school for dramatic arts, he began working with a number of theatre directors, including Matthias Langhoff, Jean-Louis Hourdin and Richard Brunel. He collaborates with a host of companies such as the Company des Lumas (led by Angélique Clairand), Company Ostinato (Olivier Maurin), La Maison Jaune, Le Théâtre des Turbulences, Company D’un Instant à l’autre, Le Théâtre du Rivage, Le Théâtre de l’Homme, and more besides. He has also designed, for various projects – danse, radio or musical, a sound universe drawing on “the real”. On the national radio station France Culture, he notably works with Alexandre Plank and Laure Egoroff, and he is an instructor on Phonurgia Nova’s summer workshops in Arles alongside Kaye Mortley. In 2010 he founded Le Sillon, an artistic collective dedicated to new works for radio. For Les Hommes Approximatifs Company, he worked on the sound design of Gertrud, Se souvenir de Violetta, Ses mains, Le bal d’Emma, Elle Brûle, Peut-être une nuit/GirlNextDoor, Le Chagrin, SAIGON. In 2016, along with Caroline Guiela Nguyen and Alexandre Plank, he was the recipient of the Prix Italia and the SGDL’s Grand Prix for new radio fiction for his work on Le chagrin (Julie et Vincent).

http://www.antoinerichard.fr/

JÉREMIE SCHEIDLER

DRAMATURGY, VIDEO

Born in 1983, Jérémie Scheidler is an author, director and videographer. It is also as a dramaturg that he joined Les Hommes Approximatifs Company and in his work for Adrien Béal. He has designed and integrated video into theatre work directed by David Geselson, Dieudonné Niangouna, Richard Brunel, Julien Fisera, Norah Krief, Kristoff K.Roll. In 2014, he directed Un seul été, based on L’Eté 80 by Marguerite Duras, co-produced by the Centre Culturel André Malraux in Chambéry, and co-financed by the French Ministry of Culture, Ile-de-France branch. In 2017, he wrote Layla – à présent je suis au fond du monde, a solo performance piece for Boutaïna El Fekkak, subsequently adapted for the radio on France Culture in June 2017. He is currently working on his next show, Lisières, a piece for 7 performers.

jeremiescheidler.com

MANON WORMS

DRAMATURGY

After her studies at Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris, then at Paris X-Nanterre University, Manon Worms is today a theatre director, dramaturg and researcher in theatre studies. She directed Si bleue, si bleue la mer by N.M. Stockmann in 2015, then PEDRO (Coeurs fugitifs) based on texts by Pedro Lemebel, between 2016 and 2019. She co-founded KRASNA, a collective of cross-disciplinary artists, in 2016 and collaborates with visual artists. In her role as dramaturg, she has worked with Les Hommes Approximatifs Company (on Elle brûle and SAIGON), Elise Vigneron and the Théâtre de l’Entr’ouvert (on L’Enfant, 2018), Adrien Popineau and the Company des Messagers (on Marivaux’s Jeu de l’amour et du hasard [The Game of Love and Chance], 2015), Adèle Gascuel (on Ici, Agneau n°X , 2019), and with Clio Meyer, Licelotte Nin, Anissa Daaou among others. She was Stéphane Braunschweig’s assitant director (Rien de Moi, 2014), and associate artist at La Colline – Théâtre National, Paris, between 2013 and 2017 (on the outreach programme Education&Proximité). In parallel with her artistic work, she teaches at ENSATT drama school and carries out research in the field of Theatre Studies at Lyon 2 University.