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Education and Proximity

Using theater to rethink social ties

Augustin, Karim, Lina and Albane live in the same area, but their paths have never crossed. The Education and Proximity program, launched in 2013 by the Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris and later extended to Strasbourg and Reims, aims to create connections between teenagers like these hailing from different educational, social and cultural backgrounds. As part of the program, six pairs made up of one student from a regular high school and one from a vocational college are guided by guest artists through their discovery of the world of theater. Together, they work on a play tailor-made just for them, exchange ideas in workshops and put on a final performance. At its heart, the process promotes values such as dialogue, sharing, tolerance, curiosity and listening. Supported by Total Foundation, this initiative helps foster social diversity as well as making contemporary theater accessible to young people, for whom it represents a source of emancipation and exposure to new ideas.