Clara Rousseau


Consultant, facilitator and co-director of La Belle Ouvrage.


Since 2006, outside of my role as a co-director of La Belle Ouvrage, I’ve also worked as a consultant and course leader for project planners, organisation directors, and teams of other professionals. My job mainly consists in trying to match the way work is organised and the unique nature of the project, by helping professionals better define their role and adjust their working habits. I use my 30-odd years of experience around three main areas.


In 1984, after obtaining a theatre administrator degree from ENSATT, I chose to work as production manager, mainly with theatre directors, to be closer to the artistic side than to administrative duties. Between 1986 and 2008, I honed my skills as part of MINIJY, a production company created with then technicians/designers Thierry Balasse and Jean-Baptiste Braun. Since 2008, I have been co-director of Compagnie Jean-Michel Rabeux, a director with whom I have been working since 1991, and I carry on working as a consultant for Valère Novarina, with whom I was working as a production manager as early as 1988.


From 1990 onwards, my practice moved towards professional training in the aim of helping the sector to become more professional. Teaching allowed me to put my practice into words, and gave me invaluable insight on my previous experience. I carried on teaching for the FPTSC until 1995, for the CNAC until 1996, and mainly as head of training for GRETA’s performing arts branch until 2006, when I designed and ran level II, VAE credit transfer approved courses for future performing arts administrators. While working for GRETA, I started using real-life accounts in my teaching practice and applying APP (analysis of professional practices) as methodological support for professionals in the arts and culture sector.


1992 was a pivotal year with several deaths and accidents among close friends and family, which affected me deeply and make me question the direction I was taking professionally. I needed to take a step back and I decided to start a psychosocial action-research project, based on the relationship between involvement and alienation in professional practice. Between 1993 and 1998, I led a research on work relations between directors and administrators in the theatre, as part of a DHEPS social science degree at Université Paris 3.  From 1996 onwards, I built consultancy activities for individuals and teams, first within Minijy (until 2006), and later at La Belle Ouvrage.


To consolidate my skills as a consultant, I gained a postgraduate diploma in applied clinical sociology from Paris 7 in 2000-2001.  This is when I discovered APP, and how to resolve problems through creativity and clinical sociology.  In my dissertation paper, I examined the relationship between the background/career of managers in the arts sector and the way they design and run projects. For the following ten years, I regularly attended training and think tanks at the Institut International de Sociologie Clinique, CIRFIP, ESTA, GEPI, and GIP-FCIP in Paris.


I met Albane Guinet-Ahrens in 2003, who invited me to work with her on the practices used by production companies, which led to the study published by La Belle Ouvrage in 2008.  In turn, I invited her to work with me on GRETA’s training courses.  In May 2006, now certain that we shared the same values and complemented each other, I suggested to Albane and Laure Guazzoni to help me create and develop La Belle Ouvrage. I met Cécile Krakovitch in the autumn of 2006, just when La Belle Ouvrage was created, at Caminando, an initiative focused on the professionalisation of psychologists. A year of sharing experiences with her convinced me she would be the right person to join our skills assessments department.


In 2009, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication named me Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres for my contribution to the professionalisation of the sector.  My practice focuses on individual and collective projects, what they are based on in terms of backgrounds, the concrete tools required to achieve them, the professional knowledge, the economic factors – all this in connection with the relationship between people and their work.  I myself have a soft spot and a genuine interest in human activities in the workplace.