1963-2013, from Théâtre Populaire de Lorraine to Centre Dramatique National: round tables and debates gathering artists, scholars and people involved in politics and in the decentralisation of theatre put a spotlight on the peculiar story of this place of creation and its perspective for the future. The first meeting took place in 2013, at Théâtre du Bois, Thionville. It gathered Robert Abirached (writer, professor emeritus, former director of Theatre and Performance when Jack Lang was the Minister of Culture), Mathieu Bauer (musician, stage director, director of CDN-Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil) Christophe Rulhes (musician, stage director, an EHESS ethnologist who founded the GdRA-Groupe de Recherches Artistiques, i.e. Group of Artistic Research), Pr. Emmanuel Wallon (Paris Ouest-Nanterre University/Université Catholique de Louvain-La-Neuve), Bérangère Vantusso (stage director, artistic director of la Mauvaise Graine company) and Jean-Marc Adolphe (journalist, editor of the cultural review Mouvement). Stage directors and former theatre directors Jacques Kraemer, Charles Tordjman, Stéphanie Loïk, Laurent Gutmann along with Jean Boillot, present director of NEST also took part in the debate. Rulhes and Abirached had an impassioned talk on “the nature of theatre”. Rulhes, who began his speech with a discussion on Jean Clottes’ works, on cave art and the spectacular and shamanic hypothesis that goes with it, insisted on the importance of broadening the gamut of work comparison in order to go beyond the high-brow European-centred definition of theatre. Abirached then reminded him that he hadn’t waited for Rulhes’ remark to do so. Adolphe was thrilled and fuelled the debate. The talk went on long after that, around a drink; the three men eventually seemed to share the same viewpoint.