On the proposal of the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, and after examination by the Council of Ministers of July 20, 2022, the President of the Republic has appointed Eric Ruf, for a third term as general administrator of the Comédie-Française where he excels.
Eric Ruf, 53, actor, director and scenographer entered the Maison de Molière as a resident on September 1, 1993, became its 498th member on January 1, 1998, and honorary member on December 24, 2014.
Founded by royal decree of Louis XIV in 1680, the Comédie-Française is the only permanent troupe of this magnitude in France, with around sixty boarders and members to date.
During his first eight years in office, Eric Ruf notably opened up the institution internationally, for example by attracting the German Thomas Ostermeier in 2018 for a crazy version of Twelfth Night of Shakespeare. He also encouraged a new generation of female directors and hired talent from diverse backgrounds.
“I don’t care about their skin color. (…) The actors who enter this house are chosen for their talent”, he pointed out to AFP at the start of the year, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Molière, a tutelary figure. In 2016, he also brought the troupe back to the Festival d’Avignon after 23 years of absence for “The Damned” in a staging by Ivo van Hove, engraved in the memory of festival-goers.
Also a director, decorator and scenographer, Eric Ruf had to manage strikes, in particular that of technicians in 2018, and the Covid-19 health crisis, with the launch during the first confinement of a “web TV”. RWith seven hundred hours of programs and three and a half million viewers, this channel has made it possible to broaden the audience and preserve the cohesion of the troupe in a quite remarkable way.
During his second mandate, despite two years marked by the health crisis, he was able to stimulate a new dynamic within the house of Molière: expansion of the repertoire and the place granted to contemporary authors, renewal and feminization of the programming, development of artistic education actions, new partnerships to bring to life the talents of young people (like the Trophée d’impro Culture & Diversité), amplification of dissemination throughout France,
This new breath is dubbed by the public, with an attendance rate that exceeds 90% in the first half of 2022, and helps to strengthen the cohesion and inventiveness of the troupe. 2022, year of the 400th anniversary of Molière, was in particular the occasion to deploy an abundant and daring program, paying homage to the timeless genius of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin.
This third and last mandate of Éric Ruf will allow him to continue the momentum generated since 2014, in particular to develop the educational mission of the Comédie-Française, but also the work on the Cité du théâtre, in order to ensure the full viability of the project.