“The disappearance of Gabriel Garran leaves orphans all those who have proclaimed themselves -children of Aubervilliers- as well as several generations of artists who have been able to find a deep artistic and popular affiliation with the one who called himself -archangel-“, pay tribute to his relatives in a press release, written in particular by his administrator Jean-Jacques Hocquard.
“Gabriel Garran was a great gentleman of the French theater”, former Culture Minister Jack Lang reacted on Facebook, saying “Immensely saddened to learn of his passing.”
Real name Gabriel Gersztenkorn, Gabriel Garran was born in 1927 in Paris to a couple of Polish Jews. When the war broke out, his father was deported to Auschwitz where he died. Gabriel Garran is forced to flee the Occupation with the rest of his family and to carry out various jobs under a false identity, according to those around him.
After the Liberation, he became an entertainer and discovered the theater. His meeting with Jack Ralite, elected communist mayor of Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), inspired him to plan the first permanent popular theater in the suburbs, with the creation in 1965 of the Théâtre de la Commune d’Aubervilliers, a national dramatic center in 1971, which he directed for 20 years.
“Until the end of his life his vitality was impressive. It went from one founding idea to another, which made this theater an exceptional place. He was also the one who introduced improvisation to France”. testifies the director of the theater, Marie-José Malis. “He was someone very discreet, stubborn, brave, innovative. He leaves an immense legacy for Francophone theatre”.
In fact, Gabriel Garran had founded, in 1985, the International Theater of the French Language, dedicated to French-language authors from all over the world, which he directed for 13 years, before creating his last company, Le Parloir Contemporain, in 2005. with the aim of being the meeting point between literature, theater and poetry, according to the press release.
“The future of theater belongs to those who do not go”
Gabriel Garran has written two plays, “El color del pan” and “Le Rire du fou”, an autobiographical novel “Géographie Française”, an adaptation “Tulipe ou la Protestation” and more than 1000 poems, most of them unknown to the readers. or published in the form of collections, remember the environment of it.
Revealing many talents through his staging, including, in particular, African, North African and Quebec authors and artists unknown in France, Gabriel Garran was awarded in 2015 the Grand Medal of Francophonie of the French Academy.
In a press release, the management of the Théâtre de la Commune recalled its founder’s motto: “The future of theater belongs to those who don’t go”.