Illustration Saison 23-24

As a venue for creativity, Les Célestins is welcoming six partner artists this season, each with their own distinctive style, as well as strong creative and scenic talent. Through this space and our exchanges, we seek to give them the room they need to create. And we encourage them all to support us in our relations with audiences and our defence of a high-quality, engaged theatre for the people.

– Pierre-Yves Lenoir, Director of Les Célestins – Théâtre de Lyon


Partner artists



Actor and director Ambre Kahan created her first show Get out of my Garden in 2011 at the Théâtre National de Bretagne, where she trained under Stanislas Nordey. After a stint as an actress with Anatoli Vassiliev, Thomas Jolly and Simon Delétang, she went on to direct a number of plays, including Get out of my Garden, Garden Party, All by Myself, Le Cabaret infernal and Révoltes!
In 2021, the young artist stunned audiences at Les Célestins with her spectacular staging of Ivres, a choral work by Ivan Viripaev. She returns this season with her Lyon-based company Get Out, for an ambitious adaptation of a masterpiece of Italian literature, The Art of Joy.

I think this is a ridiculous profession. And to see the projects through to the end, you need to feel a vital desire for the text. I realised that I would have loved to have discovered The Art of Joy earlier in my life. It is crucial that we hear and share the message today. It was this urgency that carried me away.

The Art of Joy (acts 1 et 2)
from 17 to 26 Nov. 2023



It was their shared passion for puppetry that gave rise to the outlandish project of adapting 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at the Comédie-Française in 2015. This first collaboration captured all the poetry and fantasy of Jules Verne, and was a huge success with audiences and critics alike.
The visual artist and actor gracefully and skilfully combine puppetry, acting and illusions. Each of their subsequent productions has been a major event. At Les Célestins, Valérie Lesort and Christian Hecq have delighted us several times with their hybrid shows.
This season, the duo returns with a new version of their first production, namely 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

On stage, puppets allow actors to make movements, expressions and accelerations beyond their physical capacity, extending and increasing the range of their bodily expression.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
from 02 to 12 May 2024



After graduating from the National Academy of Dramatic Arts in Paris, Lionel Lingelser and Louis Arene founded Munstrum Théâtre in Alsace in 2012. The company involves all its members in the creative process, creating a baroque, unsettling and poetic repertoire.
Following on from Zypher Z, staged at Les Célestins in 2022, the Munstrum returns in disguise with 40° Sous Zéro, a corrosive and furiously funny show about our conflicted relationship with the world and with each other. This season, Louis Arene is also staging Le Mariage Forcé (masked) with Christian Hecq, another partner artist. Lionel Lingelser, meanwhile, will be appearing in a one-man show, Les Possédés d’Illfurth, in which he bares his soul to audiences.

A fine double skin alters the faces of the actors, revealing strange creatures that link us to our deepest humanity. These fragile spectres disturb us with their cruelty or naivety. By inviting us to look deep inside ourselves, the mask brings us face to face with our own monsters. Through a distorting mirror effect, the monster on stage becomes the monster in us.

40° sous zéro
from 07 to 10 Feb. 2024

Les Possédés d’Illfurth
from 20 to 30 March 2024

Le Mariage forcé
from 04 to 14 April 2024



Tatiana Frolova has been creating plays for over 37 years since founding the KnAM theatre with a group of artists in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, her hometown in the Russian Far East. Her work explores the human condition, interweaving personal stories with history, particularly that of Russia, whose crimes, falsification of history and suppression of memory she relentlessly denounces.
Lyon audiences have become familiar with her sensitive documentary work through the Sens Interdits Festival – created by Les Célestins – which has welcomed her every year since 2011. In March 2022, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Tatiana Frolova and her team left their country to settle in Lyon. Since then, they have been working on Nous ne sommes plus… a production inspired by this exile and war, which questions the notions of memory and traces.

On 24 February, our theatre in Russia, where we had worked for 37 years, turned into a lifeless space. We left. We no longer have a country. We are here. An unarmed person has few resources to resist war, but they do have their heart and energy, so it is with these resources that we resist.

Nous ne sommes plus…
from 17 to 28 Oct. 2023



© Joseph Siran


Elene Usdin brings the power of her imagination and the flamboyance of her colours to illustrate our 2023-24 season.

Illustrator, photographer, painter, comic book author… Since graduating from the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1998, Elene Usdin’s has expressed her talent in many areas. This freedom is reflected in her inventive creations, which bear the imprint of dreams, fantasy, poetry and colour.

Between 2004 and 2009, Elene Usdin designed a dreamlike world with the Hartlandvilla collective for the communication of the Opéra du Rhin. She won the Picto prize for fashion photography in 2006 and had a monograph published by Contrejour in 2013. Although living mainly in Paris, Elene Usdin also travels extensively in North America, as evidenced by her portraits of Detroit published by Wayne State University Press in 2020.

In 2017, while living in Montreal, the artist drew inspiration from a dark chapter in the history of Canada’s First Nations to create her first graphic novel, René-e aux Bois Dormants. Published in 2021, it won both the ACBD Grand Prix de la Critique 2022 and the Prix Utopiales BD 2022.