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Les Récréâtrales, Pan-African residences for theater writing, creation, and research, were established in 2002 by the Burkina Faso theater artist Etienne Minoungou. Their aim was to create a meeting space for French-speaking authors, stage directors, and scenographers from the continent and offer them the comfort of time to create high-demanding contemporary theater performances together. Twenty years later, the Récréâtrales have become one of the major events in contemporary theater in Africa.


Along the way, they have enriched the Bougsemtenga district, whose inhabitants have welcomed the festival and its artists every two years since 2006.

The Récréâtrales have also gradually moved away from being solely event-based and have become anchored daily in their territory, building with and for their residents: inhabitants and artists. Thus, there are:


  • – a permanent theater, the Theater of Récréâtrales,
  • – a college of scenographers and technicians, the Sceno College,
  • – a research, training, and creation laboratory, the Labo ELAN,
  • – workshops for children, the Young Public Project,
  • – and a professionalization program for young people, the Artistic Application.

Led by Aristide Tarnagda since 2016 and chaired by Odile Sankara since 2019, the two artists have been working to strengthen the ties between the artists who come to create at the “Récréâtrales” festival and the men and women who welcome them and who have until now participated in the general organization of the festival. Women and young people from the neighborhood are invited to take the stage and create with the artists:


  • the opening show for four editions of the festival,
  • a play in 2020 calledLe Quartier” that continues to tour the country,
  • and the artistic workshops and “Tu dis PDI” show of the TERRE CEINTE project, which bring together young people from the capital, the provinces, and displaced persons to face the rise of violent extremism in Burkina Faso through the arts.
  • The Récréâtrales have become a reference for questions about relating to audiences, the positive economic impact that a cultural event can generate for a neighborhood, and transforming a place of life to achieve beauty.
  • Today, more than ever, the Récréâtrales are invested in producing meaning and connection in a time of fractures and individuality, working to put humanity at the center of the discourse and shows they produce and program to provide guidance for confronting the great scourges of our time.

This post is also available in: French