Michel Foucault / Fanny de Chaillé / Cie Association Display
Based on “The Order of Discourse” by Michel Foucault

On December 2, 1970, Michel Foucault gave his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France, the first lesson for which a rewriting subsists, entitled L’Ordre du discours. Fanny de Chaillé recreates the event and puts together a discursive performance destined for university amphitheaters. The effect of this re-enactment of Foucault’s words is to set his thoughts in motion once again.

But what is dangerous about people talking, and the fact that their various discourses proliferate indefinitely? What is the actual danger?” From his chair in the academy, Michel Foucault formulated a discourse on discourse and put forward a hypothesis: all societies set up structures which control, select, and redistribute the production of discourse. Right from the outset, the text — written to be spoken out loud — questions what it is, from the moment the philosopher bears witness to his fear of the act of discourse. Driven by the desire to stage this text that she has often read, and by that of a return to the realms of the university amphitheater, Fanny de Chaillé immerses the actor Guillaume Baillart in the fertile dialectic between language and its utterance. By seeking out the initial orality, which is by its very nature imaginary and disordered, she transposes the rhythmic Foucauldian prose into a precise gestural and vocal partition. The body becomes a support for the spoken word, the spoken word for language, and language for the thought, jubilant as it is to be set in motion. In the amphitheater, new spaces for saying and listening thus appear before us. If looking back at The Order of Discourse is a necessity, then it follows that its train of thought needs to be brought back to life, so that it continues to speak to us.

Estimated running time: 1 hour / In French with English subtitles


Tickets for all performances are free; donations accepted. Ticket reservations are required; Reserve through University Ticketing online, in person at the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office, or by calling 609-258-9220.



Conceived by Fanny de Chaillé
Based on The Order of Discourse by Michel Foucault (© Éditions Gallimard)
With Guillaume Bailliart

Sound: Manuel Coursin
Stage Management: Jérémie Sananes
Production/Distribution: Isabelle Ellul
Communication: Jeanne Dantin
A Display production // Ile de France tour produced by Festival d’Automne à Paris
A coproduction by Malraux scène nationale Chambéry Savoie ; Bonlieu scène nationale Annecy ; Théâtre Saint-Gervais (Geneva) ; Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne ; and Festival d’Automne à Paris

This project is supported by PEPS within the framework of the European program for cross-border cooperation Interreg France-Suisse 2014-2020.

With support from La Comédie de Clermont, scène nationale and CND Centre national de la danse

Désordre du discours is supported by FUSED (French US Exchange in Dance), a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Institut français-Paris, The French Ministry of Culture, and other private donors.

Thanks to Lucien Zayan, The Invisible Dog Art Center, FIAF, French Institute Alliance Française, André Scala, Antoine Muller, l’ENDROIT Chambéry, Université Lumière Lyon 2 and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.

First performed on March 12, 2019, at Malraux scène nationale Chambéry Savoie.

Fanny de Chaillé is associate artist at Malraux scène nationale Chambéry Savoie and at CND Centre national de la danse (Lyon).

This show is presented in September 2019 at Princeton University (USA) as part of a partnership between Seuls en Scène – Princeton French Theater Festival and the Festival d’Automne à Paris. It will be presented in Paris in November 2019.

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Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Humanities Council
  • Invisible Dog Art Center
  • Festival d’Automne à Paris
  • Department of French and Italian
  • L’Avant-Scène