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France, Île-de-France, Bobigny

MC93 - Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny)

Delivering access to theatre in the city

Currently undergoing extensive refurbishment, the MC93 (in Bobigny, north of Paris) is committed to making culture accessible to the greatest possible number. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports the centre’s foundation course for applicants to France’s national theatre schools, and the refurbishment of its main hall as a forum for lively exchange.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - MC93 - Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bobigny)
© Brossy et Associes

In Bobigny, on Paris’s northern rim, the Maison de la Culture de Seine-Saint-Denis operates a course for young people preparing for entrance examinations to France’s national theatre schools. Conscious that people from underprivileged backgrounds have fewer opportunities to discover their artistic talents or vocations, Égalité des Chances (‘Equal opportunities’) encourages young people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis to take the first steps to a career in professional theatre.

In one of France’s most ethnically diverse departments, the demanding course is run free of charge by MC93 and the Conservatoire Jean Wiener in Bobigny. Led by recognised theatre professionals, pupils take part in individual and group training sessions, debates, classes in writing for the theatre, and master classes with leading directors and actors, as well as preparing their auditions for admission to theatre school. Supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès since September 2016, the foundation year is designed to complement its pupils’ practical theatrical experience. 

The Foundation is also supporting the refurbishment of MC93’s main hall and canteen, as part of a dedicated steering committee. In a rapidly changing region, these spaces must be recognisable as a forum for exchange, open to all. New, modular furniture has been designed by Johan Brunel of the atelier[Jes] workshop. It will be made by five young apprentices under the guidance of members of France’s artisan guild, the Compagnons du Devoir, using leather off-cuts provided by the house of Hermès. The scheme will showcase their acquired expertise and extend their professional opportunities in the field. 

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