A platform strewn with cushions, a stage curtain, tables, threads and cotton… The classroom of the Espace des Arts, a national stage in Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire), has started the second edition of his project “ Too classy”. The device, which is unique in its kind, aims to introduce children to art as early as possible by enabling them to trade the school for the blackboards for a week. Designed along the lines of Green, Snow, or Sea classes, it allows students to become immersed in this cultural site, much of which they have never visited before.
Last year the device was tested in 4 classes. This year there are six sessions with 6 classes from CE2 to CM2 from six different elementary schools. This new edition started in January and is scheduled to end in May.
From March 21st to 25th, CM1 students from the Romain Rolland school in Chalon-sur-Saône, from the priority districts of the city, took over the premises. Since the beginning of the year, she has accompanied actress Frédérique Moreau de Bellaing in writing a story about her stuffed animals. “We are working on the emotional legacy of cuddly toys, what we leave behind in our cuddly toys, how they help us in everyday life,” she specifies.
Arriving at the Espace des Arts, the students worked in groups of two on their texts and practiced singing on stage. “Not too fast, we have time”, “Start from the beginning, with more gestures”, Frédérique starts. In the “classroom” adapted to the occasion, Cilia, the visual artist, accompanied them in the creation of a “cuddly toy box”. Each pair had to make it for a different group of students. “We’re like a collective,” Cilia puts it on the market.
After a week, the results are remarkable, notes Laurence Gauthey, her teacher: “The shy students have made significant progress in speaking. The actress taught them theatrical techniques, but most importantly, self-confidence. They’re kids going through difficult things at home, so expressing yourself here helps a lot. »
A cultural openness
For Pascale Giroux, in charge of public relations for the national scene, the aim is also to break down social barriers: “They move freely so that by the end of the week they know the places by heart. They will push the doors open more easily to come back for an exhibition or show.”
The children agree: “I’ve driven by many times, but never entered. Now it makes me want to go there,” says Mehdi. The same observation for Chloé: “It’s always been my dream to do theatre, so I’m happy to be here. Plus I thought I was the only one with a duvet if not,” she jokes.
The final goal is to test the device on ten classes in schools in the city area. There is currently no official “class culture” at the national level.