Don’t Mess with Texas is a collaboration between French Dramatic Centre Comédie de Caen and FuturePerfect. The work, directed by Jean Lambert-wild with musical direction by Jean-Luc Therminarias, combines the aesthetics and structure of a graphical novel, real-time and pre-rendered animation, music, recitation, and live action. Stéphane Blanquet, the French artist and founding publisher of United Dead Artists, will lead an international collaborative team of illustrators and comics artists from Poland, Greece, Africa, Mexico, Belgium, USA, and France in the realization of the work’s complex scenography.
Briefly, the performance presents the historical journey of French socialist Victor Considerant together with Belgian, Swiss, and Alsatian immigrants to Texas in 1854, to establish La Réunion, a utopian commune advocating socialist values, direct democracy, and political activism. Oppressed by the Continent’s stifling class system, Europeans flocked to find a new life in Texas, proclaimed as “one of the most favored regions of the globe,” and where it was possible to sow the “seeds of liberty, knowledge, and love.” La Réunion failed miserably. A performance about its rise and fall aims to compel contemporary audiences to reflect upon the current debates surrounding the impossibility of real political opposition in a world that may no longer harbor utopian visions, or competing notions of the future.