Premières Nécessités

A Word from Stéphane

At Les SUBS we’re organizing the new artistic season with utopia in mind—a utopia we can attain with thoroughly redesigned creative processes and new roles for the audience. And believe me, we can trust the artists to come up with new formats and new ways of interacting with the public.


From September to December 2020, Les SUBS will unfurl its program like a manifesto to reassert, through our actions, the fundamental importance of theater, dance, music, the circus, and digital arts. The artistic activities offered every week throughout Fall 2020 include digital performances, in-apartment theater 2.0, autobiographical circus fiction, participatory projects, choreographic walks, concerts to listen to lying down, and artistic activities in public places—myriad ways to transcend the constraints of the public health crisis while turning the spotlight on its social, political, and aesthetic consequences.


The most powerful example is probably the next creation by the artist Yan Duyvendak, which will be presented in November 2020. He began working on VIRUS in 2018 (with a residency at Les SUBS in June and July 2020), collaborating with scientists and game developers to create this participatory show in which the audience must contain the spread of a pandemic. Since the coronavirus erupted in China, this simulation game has taken a turn for the hyperreal and dizzying. “There are times when you think about giving up given the tragic context,” explains Duyvendak. “At others, however, it seems that it might actually help us respond to a pandemic, not just foresee one. VIRUS might be a way for otherwise powerless citizens to take the reins, even if just for fun.” After several months of enforced inactivity, it’s time to laugh, tremble, and take action while counting on theater’s cathartic value, which has been proven since Aristotle’s time.


The “Premières Nécessités” (Basic Necessities) program gets its momentum from Les SUBS’ fundamental principles. Let’s return to shared emotions and the world of meaning transmitted irreplaceably by artistic creation while associating audiences that are always more than simple spectators. Let’s work even harder to defend a sensitive and inclusive approach to art and our relationship to exercising citizenship.


Together let’s transform the future.



Stéphane Malfettes,
SUBS director