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Lycéens citoyens, rethinking social links through theatre

The Lycéens citoyens program (formerly Éducation et Proximité), launched in 2013 by the Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris, Reims, Strasbourg and Nantes, offers regular high school and vocational college students an introduction to the world of theater. By pairing up classes, the initiative encourages students from different educational and sociocultural backgrounds to mingle. The Fondation has been a partner for 5 years (2017-2022) as part of its commitment to Cultural Dialogue and Heritage. In particular, it uses the program to help disadvantaged young people acquire personal and professional development skills through a creative endeavor.

Every year, eight classes (i.e. four buddy pairs from a vocational college class and a regular high school class) and 300 high school students have benefited from the program. It involves several stages, with participants studying a play written specially for them and performed in the different schools, attending theater evenings, meeting professional entertainers and attending a residential week including acting and playwriting workshops run by young actors, and finally presenting their own creation to all of the other program participants.
Beyond broadening students’ cultural and social horizons, the project helps them learn to work as a team and find their voice, while boosting their self-confidence, enhancing their listening skills, teaching them to build a consensus, improving their work ethic and developing their pride in a job well done. These valuable skills will serve them well as they enter the workforce.