Now that I have assumed my role as Artistic Director of the French Section, I want to reaffirm that the National Theatre School is, before all else, an art school, that is, a free and civic school. A school that is anything but fixed in time, and that is constantly driven by the energy, the imagination, and the creative and artistic desires of its students, with whom it holds a permanent and open dialogue. After all, they are the ones who are transforming the way we produce and practise theatre, making it come alive. I don’t want to train artists who will simply, lazily, respond to the existing expectations of the industry.

I want to train artists who will open up new impulses, who feel free to propose ideas and free to be themselves. It might seem counterintuitive for a school, but I say to all the students who want to study here, ''Come! We need you to teach us how to make theatre!''

Historically, this school has been based on a foundational idea: help students on their path to becoming young artists and foster dialogue. Create a meeting of minds and find inspiration. The future will take care of the rest. It’s a wide open invitation and I find it truly inspiring.

An art school is an elite school; it trains elite artists in the same way that a hockey school or a swim club trains elite athletes. Some people have a negative reaction to the word ''elite'', but when we talk about elite athletes, they’re okay with it. It takes just as much rigour, as many hours of work, as much commitment to excel in an artistic pursuit, to master the knowledge and the skills, as it does to excel in the top levels of competitive sport.

And, after all that, you have to be ready to turn your mind to the world’s issues and respond to them. In every way: intellectually, sensitively, poetically.

Frédéric Dubois
Artistic director of the French section and Director of the Interprétation program