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About the Journal

Founded in 1990 by Lucile Garbagnati, senior lecturer in the University of Franche-Comté and founder also of Franche-Comté University Theatre, with the assistance of Gisèle Geschwind-Holtzer, she too teaching in the same university, the journal aimed to review the activities of the University Theatre and theatrical performances in the area, as well as to encourage exchanges between the world of university research and that of practical theatrical creativity, in response to a desire to establish links between the different aspects and practitioners of theatre in the region.

Created in 1986, the University Theatre developed rapidly in multiplying contacts with the various theatrical institutions in place. By opening up to an ever wider public through the first international festivals and through initiatives within the university community, it became within the region both a meeting point and a springboard. Associated with and supported by the research centre Jacques Petit, which has a particular interest in the work of Paul Claudel, it sought to disseminate its findings. A pioneer among university theatre journals, Coulisses began life in a context favourable to the breaking down of barriers, as Lucile Garbagnati has explained thirty-two years later:

‘Out of all this activity arose a general desire to keep a permanent record, and after several unsuccessful attempts as a newsletter, a journal form was decided on, a journal which would be a point of encounter for the University Theatre, theatre in the region, university research and for the links between amateur and professional theatre. All theatre-lovers, particularly amongst the students and teachers of the university, could contribute to its production, as it would be open to their experiences, knowledge and understanding and to their aspirations.’

It was through its mode of publication that the journal found its third point of presence within the university, after those of amateur theatre and academic research: at first through the support of two colleagues of Lucile Garbagnati, Bernard Chettouh, printer, and Madeleine Lafaurie, journalist, and later through the Annales littéraires de Franche-Comté and the support of François Favory and the Presses universitaires. Its future was assured. The journal aimed to be general, with a playful aspect, as evidenced in its different layouts, and gradually took shape under its several headings and its mix of reports, reviews and interviews. The journal’s symbol was the drawing of an eye by Claude Nicolas Ledoux, chosen by Lucile Garbagnati as an invitation to dream. The collaboration with students helped assure the journal’s success and circulation.

There were changes of direction following the appointment of new editors, as indicated in the editorials which in themselves form a certain history of the journal. Under the direction of Frédérique Toudoire-Surlapierre the journal became clearly more academic, with learned articles grouped by theme. The cover also changed to plain white, and the format followed that typical of the Annales littéraires de Franche-Comté, the formatting very ably assured by Sébastien Jacquot. After the departure of Frédérique Toudoire-Surlapierre, Karine Bénac continued the same editorial line, assisted by David Ball, who contributed reviews and interviews. Following Karine Bénac, Julia Peslier contributed a comparative literature element, as well as paying particular attention to the presentation of play texts.

Published in paper form from 1990 to 2012, Coulisses totalled forty-four issues, plus three special issues devoted to the work of Armand Gatti and Paul Claudel and two containing the creative texts of Alejandro Finzi (in translation) and Armand Gatti.


Dossier « Les Quinze ans de Coulisses », Coulisses, n30, 2004.

Garbagnati, Lucile, « Coulisses, 1990-2004 », Sken&graphie, 1 | 2013, 191-206.

Garbagnati, Lucile, « Coulisses, 1990-2004 », Sken&graphie [En ligne], 1 | Automne 2013, mis en ligne le 30 novembre 2016, consulté le 7 décembre 2016. URL : http://

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