The Manufacture approaches courses in theatre and dance from a perspective of research and creativity.
Students on different courses, practitioners, artists, researchers and tutors work on a single site, a place where ideas and practice come together and where the performing arts are viewed from a contemporary and multi-disciplinary standpoint.
The school’s multidisciplinary approach is reflected in each of its missions: degree and continuing education courses are led by tutors from different fields; artistic research explores projects in partnership with institutions and researchers in Switzerland and abroad; the activities centre proposes a wide range of services focused on the performing arts.
The Manufacture welcomed its first budding actors to Lausanne in September 2003, through the doors of the former precious-stone cutting factory after which it is named.
Founded by Switzerland’s French-speaking cantons and the francophone part of the canton of Berne, the Manufacture joined the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO) in 2006. It then developed the missions of a higher education establishment: degrees, continuing education, applied research and service provision. Since 2009, it has offered Bachelor and Master degrees recognised at a European level.
In 2011 the State of Vaud also entrusted to the Manufacture vocational training for the new Federal Certificate of Capacity (CFC) in technical professions in the performing arts, overseen by the professional association ARTOS.
Following on from the Bachelor degree in drama focused on actor training, in September 2012 the Manufacture launched a Master in Drama with the emphasis on stage direction, in conjunction with the Master-Campus-Theatre network which brings together Swiss drama schools in Berne, Zurich, Lausanne and Verscio.
In September 2014, a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Dance was inaugurated. The first of its kind in Switzerland, it is run in collaboration with Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and in partnership with P.A.R.T.S in Brussels and the University of Berne.
The Manufacture is therefore the only university in French-speaking Europe to offer degree courses in dance and theatre on a single site.
The Manufacture plans in the future to extend its reach to choreography, dramaturgy, scenography and theatre education, thus becoming a true francophone centre for the performing arts and professions.
The Manufacture - University of Performing Arts of Western Switzerland is incorporated as a foundation under private law.
Signatories to the inter-cantonal convention founding the Manufacture each have a seat on the Foundation Board. Added to this are representatives of professional and academic circles.
former Secretary of State for Education and Research
Head of the Department of Culture, Canton of Fribourg
For the canton of Berne
Anne-Marie de Buman
Head of the francophone section of the Department of Higher Education
For the canton of Geneva
Vice-director of the Department of Culture
For the canton of Jura
Jean Marc Voisard
Cultural Affairs Delegate
For the canton of Neuchâtel
Head of the Cultural Affairs Department
For the canton of Vaud
Director General of Higher Education
For the canton of Valais
Head of the Higher Education Department
For professional circles
Director of Carouge Theatre in Geneva
Director of Le Petit Théâtre, Lausanne
Co-president of the Syndicat Suisse Romand du Spectacle (SSRS)
General Secretary of the SSRS, Prilly
For academic circles
Associate Professor, University of Geneva
Representative of HES-SO
Representative of dance professions
Academic Head of the Bachelor in Theatre
+41 21 557 41 60
Academic Head of the Master in Theatre
+41 21 557 41 70
Academic Head of the Bachelor in Contemporary Dance
+41 21 557 41 72
Head of the Research Department
+41 21 557 41 78
The Manufacture offers a magnificent working environment within the former industrial complex that was previously the Golay-Buchel factory, rue du Grand-Pré 3-5, Lausanne.
The school, originally installed on two floors at number 5, has gradually expanded in the course of its development and, since September 2015 with the opening up of new premises at number 3, benefits from a floor space of 4,416 square metres on which to deploy its different activities.
At present the school offers:
- A 228 m2 auditorium with 110 tiered seats
- A 132 m2 performance hall with Harlequin dance floor and 50 tiered seats
- A research laboratory
- A library open to the public
- 4 rehearsal rooms for dancers with Harlequin dance floor
- 5 rehearsal rooms for actors and producers
- 4 classrooms and meeting rooms
- A cafeteria for students
- A reception area for the public
- A technical and joinery workshop
- A wardrobe room