Natacha Koutchoumov

1973

Co-director of the Comédie de Genève theatre company, Geneva

"There are challenges and problems every day, but it’s important to stay focused on the dream."

My career path

I’m an actor and director, and currently also co-director of the new Comédie de Genève theatre company.

My passion. The theatre company is soon going to move to a new theatre that’s being built in the Eaux-Vives neighbourhood of Geneva. It’s one of the biggest cultural construction projects that the City of Geneva has undertaken in the past 100 years. It’s a very exciting initiative to be involved in. There are challenges and problems every day, but it’s important to stay focused on the dream. I like challenges, and there’s no greater challenge than creating your dream – and making art accessible.

My career path. I think I was lucky to be there at a time when nobody thought about having a woman on a panel of judges. On several occasions, I was the only woman on the jury, and that made me realize that I could be a leader. The juries were made up of men from the higher social echelons and me – an actor. It was a major realization when I understood that I could do the job just as well as they could. From then on, I decided to direct plays and work my way up to running a cultural institution. My family and my husband have always supported me.

A downside or obstacle ? It’s a job that never stops – there are no weekends and there’s no border between work and home life. You have to know when to stop, which is not always easy. There aren’t many women who manage cultural institutions in French-speaking countries. I applied with Denis Maillefer for the management job. We’re a man-woman partnership. There are obstacles, but they’re very subtle. We urgently need to give women more confidence to demonstrate their potential. My strength is my ability to put problems into perspective.

I’m proud that I’ve explored the theatre world from various angles : I’ve been an actor and a director ; I’ve taught ; and now I co-manage a theatre company in Geneva. I think I’m able to rally people around a project because I always stubbornly believe in what I’m doing. And sincerity – both on stage and in real life – holds the greatest power of persuasion. I have a real passion for theatre, and I truly believe that art is a vital part of our own personal development.

The Proust Questionnaire

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Au-delà de votre profession

L’art comme outil de construction de soi.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Ma grand-mère paternelle et mon mari.

Un livre & un film

Toutes les nouvelles d’Anton Tchekhov, Le Maître et Marguerite (Mikhaïl Boulgakov) et Dodeskaden (Akira Kurosawa).

Un modèle

Anne Bisang, ma grand-mère italienne que je n’ai jamais connue mais qui était une femme libre…

Un objet

Je ne m’attache pas aux objets.

Une couleur

Le vert bouteille

Un rêve

Ne jamais m’arrêter de croire en mes rêves.