Born in 1980, Mariette Navarro studied Modern Literature and Performing Arts and went on to study Dramaturgy at Theatre National de Strasbourg’s Superior School. Navarro writes for theatre and works as a dramaturg for several theatres and companies, takes part in various reading committees, and is a member of the artist collective of the Comédie de Béthune National Theatre since 2014. She is the co-director of the collection “Grands Fonds” by publishing house Cheyne. She is regularly invited to hold workshops in superior dramatic schools across France such as Ensatt, ESAD or CNSAD – the National Superior Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. Navarro writes for stage directors Matthieu Roy (Prodiges®), Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Anne Courel (Les feux de poitrine), François Rancillac, Hélène Soulié, and choregrapher Marion Lévy, amongst others. She was the associated author at the “Scènes du Jura” National Stage in 2015-2016 and the Aquarium Theatre at the Cartoucherie, Vincennes, in 2017-2018. Her published plays include Alors Carcasse (Cheyne, 2011 – Robert Walser Prize 2012), Nous les vagues followed by Célébrations (Quartett, 2011), Prodiges® (Quartett, 2012), Les feux de Poitrine (Quartett, 2015), Les Chemins contraires (Cheyne, 2016), Zone à étendre (Quartett, 2018), Les Hérétiques (Quartett, 2018) and Les désordres imaginaires ou La destruction du pays par le jeune président à la mode (Quartett, 2020).
Ultramarins (Quidam, 2021) is her first novel.
Photo: Philippe Malone
Les désordres imaginaires (Imaginary disorders) – 2020
The theme of this work is the surveillance society and the many ways in which power controls the citizens, especially the artists. It brings up the topics of censorship, self-censorship, the difficulty of setting up a collective initiative, the issues of performance, caution, trust, of a President who governs by incepting his presence in people’s minds and imagination, of trail cameras, undercover surveillance agents, of a lingering rumour and a crowd nobody either understands or knows how to handle. As well as a mysterious document titled “Destruction of the country by a young, fashionable President”.
Zone à étendre (Zone to Extend) – 2018
The play is not strictly narrative, but can also be described as a dramatic poem. The spoken word unfolds through lines that can be freely distributed in a chorus of at least half a dozen actors. The scenes follow one another like a series of encounters to create a moving sensory and mental landscape. We first follow a group of people walking side by side along a forest path. They get to know each other as they progress through the forest and share pieces of their history, their convictions, their doubts, and hopes, while the forest revives feelings buried within them in an immemorial relationship to legends and magic. All these people have a different reason for joining the march, but they are all doing it to take a step aside from the power in place, a power they no longer identify with or they no longer want to support. They are, in fact, on their way to a clearing where has been established a community they wish to join. In the second part, the group has reached the clearing. They try to understand the rules in place in this new society and participate in the tasks of community life: building a house, electing a representative… The meaning of property and the relationship to money are reevaluated. Some adapt better than others, who reject the clearing’s model. Word begins to spread in the community that the government is worried about the movement’s progress: the clearing seems to be expanding, more and more people are joining it, and other clearings are being created. The concern about armed repression is eventually justified as an assault on the clearing is organised. The last scene is a report by the army general in charge of the assault – we understand that the mission failed because nothing was to declare apart from a massive flight of birds. The tanks never managed to find a clearing – at the end of the forest always came the forest.
Les feux de poitrine (Chest fires) – 2015
A party for one who comes back a long way and whom nobody wants to lose again; a party organized by children which will not come to an end; a wedding where two people meet and catch each other’s eye; the celebration of a victory and the joy shared around a beach fire – Les feux de poitrine is a series of short plays, immortalizing those occasions that people collectively strive to make unforgettable, in a constant struggle against melancholy. From one short play to the other Mariette Navarro takes us on a journey from the cold to the great summer bonfire, from fighting discouragement to welcoming the arrival of a new season in a shared sense of togetherness. Les feux de poitrine has been written with the aim of having adults, teenagers and children share the stage together.
Prodiges® – 2011
Three young female home-sellers for a prestigious cooking utensils brand are standing in front of us. It’s the Beginner’s first time, and her colleagues are here to teach her the ropes of addressing a crowd of consumers, of selling while being amusing and joyous – the life of the party. As they present the brand’s illustrious food containers, they experiment with the power of fiction to recount the story of evolution – human evolution, but also women’s. Suddenly, the selling number is no longer as flawless as it seemed, as the interruptions and slips of the tongue become more and more frequent. Do those ladies really believe in what they are preaching? Or, rather than being the picture-perfect sellers they appeared to be, are they simply three modern-day women with a precarious situation questioning the idea of success?
Nous les vagues (We, the waves) – 2010
Nous les vagues explores the meaning of “we” through five sequences written in a choral form, in which every sequence presents a certain state of a group with its strength and its beliefs. In the beginning, the group tries to emerge and prepare for action, revolution maybe. Each reply comes in as a new wave on the seashore in an attempt to federate, move forward, retell. The play later focuses on a smaller unit within the group: activists who barge into a place of power. Following that move, the group narrows down while expecting retaliation. “We” becomes “the two of us”- a man and a woman who fell in love in the group meetings and want to see their commitment through. In the end, only “I” remain, as the man attempts to recreate the lost dream of a community