Company founded in 1977, directed by Pierre Blaise (Paris, 1954). The Théâtre Sans Toit (Company Without a Roof) was first an actor’s theatre before encountering the puppet through Alain Recoing and Jean-Luc Penso (see Théâtre du Petit Miroir). Blaise created Le Roman de Renard (1983) with Chinese glove puppets, and then, encouraged by Antoine Vitez, he set up Les Aventures du petit Père Lapin (The Adventures of Little Father Rabbit, 1985). He adopted diverse techniques according to the plays, for a wide audience, sometimes as young as three years old.

Pierre Blaise had a preference for glove puppets and hidden manipulators: Les Habits neufs de l’empereur (The Emperor’s New Clothes, 1992 and 1996); L’Homme invisible (The Invisible Man, 1991) by H.G. Wells; Le Petit Remorqueur (The Little Oarsman, 1994), a musical without words; Le Monde à l’envers (The Upsidedown World, 1995 and 1998), inspired by popular comic tradition. Fantaisies et bagatelles (1996) revived the verve and originality of the old castelets (puppet booths). In the same way, Les Castelets de fortune (The Booths of Fortune, 2003) revived the savage tragi-comedies of Edmond Duranty, written in 1861 but with a contemporary aesthetic.

The Théâtre Sans Toit also explored musical theatre: Romance dans les Graves (Romance in the Graves, 2000), with the classic group Carpe Diem; Le Roman d’une contrebasse (Romance with a Double Bass) by Anton Chekhov, with music by Alexandre Borodine; and Les Anges (The Angels, 2003), from Au secours les anges! (Angels! Help!) by Thierry Lenain and Pierre Bloch.

In collaboration with the city of Argenteuil (Hauts-de-Seine), where the company settled in 2001, Théâtre Sans Toit pursues numerous artistic activities. D’entrée de jeu (The Game Begins, 2004) is inspired by the “jeu de l’oie” (the Game of the Goose, a board game) and tells the story of Dédale with sparse writing, modular decors and the manipulation of effigies that are pieces of a puzzle. D’entrée de jeu, les dés sont jetés (The Game Begins, the Dice are Cast, 2005) is an open version of the previous show: gaps in the programme are filled by the artistic contributions of amateurs and professionals. The originality of this way of working is a result of the research work rooted in tradition but enriched by the pedagogical work of Pierre Blaise and the company’s encounters with their public.

(See France.)