W is a research collective that studies action in a performance setting. What does it mean to act as others watch? What characterizes the relation we call theater?

To answer these questions, W simultaneously develops three complementary approaches: a practice, which builds tools and techniques for the actor; a critical method, which suggests reception guidelines for the spectator; and a theory, which works towards defining notions useful to the first two approaches.

In particular, W produces games, a score writing software, a lexicon of operational notions, workshops and practical sessions, critical seminars, as well as articles and conferences.


Générique was conceived in 2005 during a residency at the Centre Choréographique de Montpellier, in the context of Jennifer Lacey’s 2005 project “Bonbonnières,” with the assistance of Alice Chauchat and Nicolas Couturier. It was then developed in parallel by the Berlin collective everybodys and by the W group centered around Joris Lacoste and Jeanne Revel.

The game is a performance that can be organized in the usual context of a theater or festival. It is also copylefted, which means that anyone can take ownership of it and propose it to any audience. It has thus been produced across the world by all kinds of people who, for the most part, have never met one another.

The idea behind the game is indeed very simple. Contrary to the Bloc Game or the Tomb Game, which require a bit of explanation and a bit of practice, Générique can be played right away and on its own, assuming that participants are aware of the “post-show talk” situation that is hard to miss once one has attended even a few theater performances: members of a creative team (actors, dancers, directors, choreographers, playwrights, costume designers, musicians, etc.) come meet members of their audience after the show and discuss the piece that they have just performed. This very codified situation induces a certain type of speaking all on its own, a certain distribution of questions and answers, a specific vocabulary. In Générique, with no show to precede the game, the “audience” is tasked with inventing possible questions while the “performers” have to imagine coherent responses to them. This dialogue creates an imaginary work at the intersection of their respective fantasies.

While certainly a form of fiction, Générique also and above all reveals the imaginaries of its audience, the expectations, the codes of representation, the specificities of a given context (depending on whether Générique is played at an international dance festival in Rotterdam, a squatt in Belleville, or a Centre Dramatique National, the performances imagined will take very different forms). By forcing the “performers” to justify their most absurd choices, Générique is also a very powerful exercise for exploring the codes and figures of the artistic discourse.