Iris-Edwige Gaillard was born in Besancon, a town in eastern France. After graduating from Besancon University in ancient Greek and literature, Iris went to Paris to study theatre and acting at Cours Florent, there she found a teaching inspired by the new German theatre (Frank Castorf, René Pollesch, Christoph Schlingensief…), Claude Regy and Pina Baush. She graduated in 2006 and co-founded the Compagnie de L’Imminence.
With her company, Iris developed research for a new form of theatre, questioning the conventional theatrical devices. It led to a work focused on the experience related to live performance. She aims to develop a direct relationship with the audience, exposing the theatrical devices and playing with the actor’s virtuosity, engaging different types of acting techniques and performance styles all within a single show. She specialized in contemporary texts with a fragmentary narration (Heiner Müller, R-W Fassbinder, Botho Strauss, Peter Handke…).
In 2006, Iris produced and directed: Der Kuss des Vergessens (Kiss of Oblivion) written by Botho Strauss, for the Avignon Off Festival. She then returned to Avignon in 2007 with as producer/director of Anarchy in Bayern written by Reiner Werner Fassbinder. After a successful festival the show toured France, being performed over fifty times in different towns. In 2008 and 2009 Iris went to the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris to be trained in Scenography. Also during the last six years Iris worked as a performer in several plays (written by Marguerite Duras, Noelle Renaude and Alejandro Jodorowsky), short films, and television shows in France.
She moved to Melbourne in December 2010 to follow her heart. Since then she directed Brighter/Whiter written by Anthony Noack for the Comedy Festival in February 2011 as well as the jealous Husband and the fleet-footed Doctor two comedies written by Molière for the Melbourne French Theatre in May 2011. She worked on a collaborative show with Jason Cavanaugh and Matto Lucas for Halloween in October 2011 at The Owl and The Pussycat, Richmond. She directed a show for the Fringe Festival in September 2012: Banana Republic, a political comedy written by Anthony Noack. In 2013, she workshopped Gina, a theatrical project with Jenny Lovell and Nic Frances Gilley written by Cat Commander, presented at La Mama – Courthouse as an audience participatory work-in-progress.
In 2014, Iris studied Theatre Directing at the Victorian College of the Arts in a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation. She was the recipient of the 2014 Creative Scholarship appointed by the VCA & Arts Victoria. In July she participated in GL RY – a research project lead by Dr Alyson Campbell and part of the 2014 AIDS Conference – with an installation: the GL RY Box. In October, she directed The Prodigal Son written by Jack Hibberd as a part of the One-Act season, the director’s graduation shows.
In 2015, she directed In the Dark, an immersive theatre/game hybrid (Brunswick Mechanics Institute – Live Works season). She assisted Peter Houghton on The Boy at the Edge of Everything (MTC) and was to join the first international Director’s Lab (Melbourne Festival 2015). She then assisted Peter Houghton on The Boy at the Edge of Everything at MTC in September 2015, and has been selected to be part of the first international Director’s Lab as part the Melbourne Festival 2015.
In 2016 she was a part of MKA Climate Arts Festival and directed Duality OK! by Sarah Mainwaring addressing living with disability at La Mama.
In 2017, Iris teamed up with Georgia Symons again directing Surprise Party with Jem and Dead Max at La Mama and she directed a development and first showing of Woman with Tomahawk by Ruth Katerelos as part of La Mama Exploration Season 2017.
She is currently developing a Hard Boiled Bush Noir by Shane Grant for Metanoia Theatre that will be shown at St Martins Youth Arts Centre August 22-September 2 2018.
She focuses her practice around new immersive/participatory forms of story-telling, and investigating ceremony and ritual as modes of performance.