At the head of several Parisian theaters, Jean-Marc Dumontet schedules his Paroles Citoyennes festival each year in the spring. For this eighth edition, where it hopes for 4,500 spectators, the hottest current issues are on display, starting with Islamist terrorism. Scheduled for April 9 is The Professor, a creation by Emilie Frèche in which Charles Berling plays Samuel Paty, the professor from Conflans-Sainte-Honorine stabbed 17 times and beheaded by Abdoullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Russian of Chechen origin. The history-geography teacher, who a few days earlier had presented two caricatures of Mohammed in a course on freedom of expression, was the target of a cabal orchestrated on social networks by certain parents of students, relayed and amplified by Islamist militants.

“This piece is the story of a great renunciation, it shows the accumulation of incredible little cowardices, a climate where everyone is afraid and where Samuel Paty ended up being abandoned by everyone. The piece demonstrates the responsibility of National Education and of the entire social body,” underlines Jean-Marc Dumontet. It unfortunately resonates with the news of recent days where the Libération Coco cartoonist, survivor of the Charlie Hebdo attack, has once again been threatened for her drawings.

A theater director who loves politics and who prides himself on having the ear of Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Marc Dumontet intends to “contribute to social issues”. “You are not born a citizen, you become one. We all have a responsibility, a duty of commitment and raising awareness, doubting and investing become necessities, he explains. We have the chance to manage prestigious places, it is our duty that they remain places of resonance and debate.”

Another current topic, another question of the times, Paroles Citoyennes presents a second creation by Emilie Frèche, around the reading of La vie sera belle, a book by Sarah Barukh. The theme ? The influence, this toxic relationship which ranges from infidelity to domestic violence to femicide. Very sensitive to this cause but not wishing to talk about it for the moment because of the simultaneous release of La Promesse verte by Édouard Bergeon on March 27 in the cinema, Alexandra Lamy took on the role. She has already addressed this question in the film Les Infidèles written, directed and produced by her ex-companion Jean Dujardin and his gang. Twelve years later, while the MeToo phenomenon is accelerating, the mention of this film still sparks heated discussions. “The idea is to show that control happens in all environments. That battered women or those who are their partner’s “thing” show great courage to leave,” underlines Jean-Marc Dumontet.

Still political with a debate organized around Rima Abdul Malak and her cultural policy, in the presence of Christian Gonon from the Comédie-Française. Dumontet, always very interested in the analyzes of the former Minister of Culture, had proposed the formula to her before she left rue de Valois. Rachida Dati will surely be invited to debate next year.

Paroles Citoyennes Festival until April 16 at the Théâtre Libre and Théâtre Antoine.