MC93 improving access to drama school entry tests

Prépa' Théâtre 93 © Alain Richard
Prépa' Théâtre 93 © Alain Richard
Group classes at the MC93 © Stephanie de Boutray
© Sergio Grazia
Group classes at the MC93 © Stephanie de Boutray
© Stephanie de Boutray
As part of its commitment to the performing arts, the Fondation d’entreprsie Hermès accompanies the MC93 – Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis in Bobigny, directed by Hortense Archambault. The Foundation began this local and community-oriented form of patronage by supporting the renovation of the building’s foyer. Since 2016, it has also supported Prépa’ Théâtre 93 (previously Master Class 93), a training programme created by the MC93 to prepare students for entrance exams to prestigious theatre schools.

From 2015 to 2017, the MC93 underwent a major renovation programme overseen by architect Vincent Brossy and scenographer Michel Fayet. The MC93 team used the building work as an opportunity to reflect upon how best to welcome their public. The building’s foyer emerged as a major preoccupation in their discussions, and they looked to transform this transitory site into a welcoming space accessible to all. A number of residents, theatregoers and local bodies participated in the renovation committee, which was supported by the Foundation. This participatory approach enabled the MC93 to refine its aims prior to the start of reconstruction work. Collective seating units were designed by Johan Brunel (Atelier Jes), 2014 laureate of the Prix Émile Hermès, and produced with leather donated by the house of Hermès. The furniture was in part constructed by apprentices at the soft materials centre of the Compagnons du Devoir at Pantin. The foyer was enlarged to 700m2 and now offers an open, lively space that encourages cultural and social mixing at all hours of the day.

Since 2016, the Foundation has also supported Prépa’ Théâtre 93. Every year, this equal-opportunities training programme “Égalité des Chances” prepares a socially and culturally diverse group of students from eighteen to twenty-five year-old for entrance exams to prestigious French and francophone theatre schools. Established by the conservatories of Seine-Saint-Denis, Bobigny and Pantin, it takes over the class created by the MC93 and the conservatory of Pantin in 2015. This rigorous training programme aims to allow new talents to emerge in the face of the social determinism that sometimes prevails in the theatre world. Means-tested and non-paying, it consists of several separate modules distributed on more than 1000 hours of classes over two years. that take place between September and June. It includes ateliers run by major directors and development workshops that combine intensive work of the scenes, an introduction to theatrical culture and a strong and concrete link with contemporary creation.

In September 2019, twelve new students integrated the Prépa’ Théâtre 93. The workshop restitution will take place on June 13 and 14, 2020 at the Maison d’Aragon et d’Elsa Triolet, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, as part of the Centenary of Elsa Triolet’s death.

The application form is downloadable between April 2 and April 22, 2020 on the website of the MC93. Auditions will take place on June 24 and 26, 2020.

Performing arts
The Foundation supports Prépa’ Théâtre 93, a training programme created by the MC93 to prepare students for entrance exams to prestigious theatre schools.
Entirely free, this class is accessible through a competitive process for students from eighteen to twenty-five-year-old.
It allows students to evolve in a cultural environment and to benefit from meetings with artists.

See also