French company founded by Jean-Louis Heckel (Strasbourg, 1953) and Babette Masson (Saigon, 1953). Both trained at the theatre school of Jacques Lecoq, and were actors in the Philippe Genty company in 1986.
Nada Théâtre’s first show, Grandir (Growing), produced by Jean-Louis Barrault in collaboration with the Théâtre Écarlate, defined their style from the start: the use of everyday objects, a playful and minimalist approach, a spirit close to that of the fairground. This was followed by L’Empereur panique (The Emperor is Panicking, 1988), Abraham et Samuel (1988), Vernissage (1989), Genèse (Genesis, 1990) from a text by Alain Gautré, and notably an Ubu (1990) that has remained famous, in which Guilhem Pellegrin and Babette Masson played the roles of Father and Mother Ubu bringing a mass of vegetables and fruit crashing to the ground. For Hansel et Gretel (1992), the puppets were made of spiced bread; Peer Gynt (1999) was created with the storyteller Abbi Patrix; La Saga Oizo (2000), about migrating birds, was produced as a show/conference, as street theatre, in private apartments; Dieu sel et sable (God of Salt and Sand, 2004) was staged by Harry Holzman.
Between 1991 and 2005, the company was in charge of the cultural centre Boris-Vian des Ulis (Essonne), where, in addition to its own productions, it spearheaded a major programme of artistic community action.
Jean-Louis Heckel has been head of the pedagogical course of the École Nationale Supérieure de la Marionnette (ESNAM) in Charleville-Mézières, France, since September 2004.