Le Prix de Brigadier – The Prize of the Brigadier

Stéphane Hillel, Bruno Julliard Premier, Anne d’ Elbée, Michael Lonsdale, Catherine Hiegel, Danielle Mathieu-Bouillon -Photo credit Raymond Delallande

by Jane Rosenstein

Le Prix de Brigadier (the Prize of the Brigadier) 2016 was presented  February 17, 2017 at Théatre Montparnasse in ParisThe prize  is one of the oldest  in the theater business, as it was founded in 1960 by l’Association de la Régie Théâtrical (A.R.T.)  It is given for a theatrical event during the season  to an author, actor, producer  or even a technician. The prize itself it a piece of wood from the theater with which, in olden days, was used by a man, called a brigadier in French, to tap several times to announce the rising of the curtain for the play. It is tapped twice – three  taps for the Prix de Brigadier and once – three taps for the Brigadier d’honneur. The Prix de Brigadier is a piece of wood like a long stick, decorated in red velvet, golden screws and having a plaque in copper engraved with the name of the recipient. It also has the name of the association presenting it. It was the A.R.T. (Association pour le soutien) support  du Théâtre Privé (private theater founded in 1911. A prize winner can receive the prize only once).

Onstage to introduce the ceremonies were Danielle Mathieu-Bouillon, president of A.R.T. and Stéphane Hillel , president of the Association pour le Soutien du Théâtre Privé. They thanked the members of the jury who selected the winners. Mr. Bruno Jullliard, the assistant to the mayor of Paris, made a short speech and then, after a great applause from the audience,presented the prizes.

Le Prix de Brigadier 2016 was awarded to Catherie Hiegel, actress and producer for “ Un amour qui ne finit pas” ( A love that does not end°°  by Moliere at Théatre de La Porte Saint-Martin in Paris. She tapped the brigadier

There were two  Brigadiers d’honneur  2016:  One to Anne d’Elbée for her long career in the theater and another to the famous actor Michael Lonsdale.  Michael Lonsdale is very well-known and received a standing ovation.

After the ceremony there was a cocktail reception where I met Daniel Matheiu-Bouillon who introduced me to the famous Michael Lonsdale. I also had the pleasure of meeting Jacques Tolosa , vice president of Association de la  Regié Théatrical which was founded in 1911.  Sophie Parel  a director  and comedian  told me that she is the director of “ The Beauty Queen of Leenan” in July, 2017  at the Festival of Avignon.

Jean-Noel Hazemann, director of Théatre de la Huchette of which I wrote an article in Veterans Today http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/11/29/theatre-de-la-huchette-has-been-showing-2-plays-by-ionesco-for-over-56-years/) about the two plays 3” Cantatrice Chavre” ( The Bald Eagle) and La Leçon which have been playing for over 26 years  told that on March 4 and March 5 he will have the theater open 24 hours non-stop.

Yoann Sover  an actor in the play “Les Amoureux” (The Lovers) which is playing until April 1, 2017 at Théatre Déjazet, invited me to see this comedy.

I also met Marie-Hélène Brian, who is Anne d’Elbée’s daughter. She told me her mother was honored to receive the Brigadier d’honneur prize.

The food and drinks provided were delicious. People told me that this year’s ceremony was very touching because of the sincerity of the winners.

Le Prix de Brigadier 2016  was a great ceremony followed by a great cocktail party with renowned guests.

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