In his first production aimed at audiences young and old, Jonathan Capdevielle tackles Hector Malot’s Sans famille, a vibrant classic of French literature. Based on this rite of passage novel, the show recounts the uplifting events in the life of Rémi, an orphan sold to a warm-hearted artist. Little by little, the sound in this immersive adaptation makes the act of listening an increasingly important element of the production, paving the way for the shift from image to audio fiction.

Childhood, memories, relationships with our origins, our family, and the way in which these elements shape, in part, the individual, have always played an important part in shows by this author, director and actor. Capdevielle is a graduate of the Ecole supérieure nationale des arts de la marionnette school of puppetry and a performer in several productions by Gisèle Vienne.

Rémi, the young hero, played by Dimitri Doré, is forced to head off into the unknown in search of a new life, always managing to emerge from adventures of the darkest kind with a mix of optimism and determination. It is this bravery, of an almost systematic nature, which convinced Capdevielle to adapt the story for the children of today. The art of spectacle and a love of music occupy a central place in the figure of Vitalis, the street musician and dog tamer, a role which Capdevielle confers to Babacar M’Baye Fall. The actors Jonathan Drillet and Michèle Gurtner play several roles, using a combination of costumes and masks, including Capi the dog and Joli Coeur the little monkey.

This event is family-friendly and suitable for all ages.

The recording of the live event is presented in French. The virtual event is free and open to the public.


The video recording was posted on this page from September 18-20.


On September 20 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT), join us for a live conversation with director Jonathan Capdevielle on Zoom in French following the online presentation of Rémi. Advance registration required; Register for the Conversation


If you are in need of access accommodations in order to participate in this event, please contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.




Part I (show) 

Conceived and directed by: Jonathan Capdevielle
Based on Sans famille by Hector Malot
Adaptation: Jonathan Capdevielle, in collaboration with Jonathan Drillet
With Dimitri Doré, Jonathan Drillet, Michèle Gurtner, and Babacar M’Baye Fall
Music, Arthur Bartlett Gillette
Sound: Vanessa Court
Lighting: Yves Godin
Costumes: Colombe Lauriot Prévost, Lucie Charrier
Mask design and construction: Étienne Bideau Rey
Assistance Direction: Colyne Morange

Part II (radio fiction)

Artistic direction: Jonathan Capdevielle
Adaptation: Alexandre Lenot
Sound design: Laure Egoroff
Sound and set: Mathieu Farnarier
Sound mixing: Djai
Effects: Elodie Fiat
Mastering: Pierre Luzy (Music Unit)
With Jonathan Capdevielle, Arthur Bartlett Gillette
, Dimitri Doré, Jonathan Drillet, Michèle Gurtner, Anne Steffens
Music: Arthur Bartlett Gillette

Illustration of the poster: Etienne Bideau Rey
Produced by Association Poppydog
Executive production of Partie II by AirRytmo
In association with Le Quai, CDN Angers Pays de la Loire; Théâtre Garonne – scène européenne (Toulouse); Théâtre Saint-Gervais (Geneva); CDN Orléans/Loiret/Centre; Arsenic (Lausanne); Tandem scène nationale (Arras-Douai); Théâtre Nouvelle Génération – Centre dramatique national de Lyon; Le Parvis, scène nationale Tarbes-Pyrénées; La Rose des vents, scène nationale Lille Métropole Villeneuve d’Asq; Maillon – Théâtre de Strasbourg – Scène européenne; Nanterre-Amandiers, centre dramatique national; and Festival d’Automne à Paris
In association with Ville de Nanterre; Nanterre-Amandiers, centre dramatique national; and Festival d’Automne à Paris for performances at Nanterre-Amandiers, centre dramatique national
With support from CND Centre national de la danse (Pantin)
With support from Adami
First performed on November 5, 2019 at Le Quai, CDN Angers Pays de la Loire.

Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts
  • Department of Comparative Literature
  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Institut Français
  • Department of Art and Archaeology
  • Humanities Council
  • Center for French Studies
  • Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society
  • French American Cultural Exchange Foundation
  • Department of French and Italian
  • L’Avant-Scène
  • Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies