La Forêt des Damnés (Hors Série Littérature) (French Edition)

French-English Dictionary (35,273 Entries)
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Theater—France— Dictionaries. Dramatists, French—Biography—Dictionaries. F67 I dedicate this volume to them, with gratitude for their boundless curiosity and enthusiasm. The bulk of the plays are written for domestic consumption, and unfortunately few dramatists, let alone actors or directors, are known abroad. That is sad but understandable since English has become the most widely known and used language and since Shakespeare and his successors have contributed so much to world theater. But French is a clear runner-up.

More recently one can look to Michel Vinaver and Yasmina Reza. Where French theater has never been exceeded, however, is in its passion, which keeps the legitimate stage going and the somewhat less than legitimate stage bubbling over at all times. A larger percentage of French citizens than almost anywhere else like and go to theater because they want to and not because they are supposed to.

This long and often impressive history is presented in the latest addition to the growing circle of Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. It contains a clear history in both the chronology and introduction, which trace the most important events over six centuries. The dictionary examines some of the most significant playwrights, actors, directors, managers, and plays themselves. While many are well known, others have been largely forgotten and deserve mention, both to show their contributions when they were in their prime and to illustrate that French theater has an amazing depth that is not always recognized.

He specializes in the relationship between theater, music, and stage music, as well as 17th-century French theater. But his interests are much more diverse, including French theater of any period and plays written by those in the wider Francophone community. Moreover, this is not just an academic pursuit. In addition to knowing about, studying, and teaching French theater, Dr.

Forman likes it and takes pleasure in helping others understand and appreciate it—possibly developing a passion for this great tradition. Public performance of mystery plays is banned in Paris and subsequently in other provinces. Italian and possibly English traveling companies also visit Paris. They perform works by Alexandre Hardy. Floridor succeeds Montdory as leader of the Marais company. Jodelet is established as the leading comic actor in Paris. They are allowed to share the Petit Bourbon Theater with an Italian company until it is demolished in It will be followed by Athalie A new purpose-built opera theater is designed in Paris, using gas lighting for the first time in France.

The Sept Manifestes Dada are published. Introduction The term French theater evokes most immediately, no doubt, the glories of the classical period and the peculiarities of the Theater of the Absurd, yet both these foci of attention are liable to be misunderstood. Much the same applies to Yasmina Reza, who is almost the only contemporary dramatist working in French whose work has had a real impact in Great Britain and the United States.

Yet the French themselves, and all knowledgeable enthusiasts for French culture, would insist on the centrality of theater to their intellectual and artistic heritage. If the historical map of French theater has been dominated by three peaks—the s, the s and s—what follows attempts to show the rich contours across all the ages that make up the hinterland, in terms of both creative writing and performance history. These events became more elaborate and spectacular, so that a version of The Acts of the Apostles performed at Bourges in lasted 40 days and involved over performers.

For such performances, elaborate multiple sets were constructed and special effects involving floods or fire could be envisaged to convey the full force of supernatural powers for good and evil. Alongside such portentous displays, a rich vein of social comedy developed in the medieval French farce. Recognizable character types— henpecked husbands, domineering wives, exasperating mothers-in-law, lascivious and gluttonous monks, boastful but cowardly soldiers, wily servants—were involved in fanciful adventures, with convoluted plots and eloquent, witty dialogue, directing sharp satire against current behavior and social or political authorities.

They were often built around practical jokes in which the perpetrator himself was liable to be caught. But if the sequence was similar, the legacy produces high contrast, because the first period produced world-class drama in Great Britain, whereas it was the second that did so in France. However, alongside that vigorous practical strand, an academic approach to the study and creation of drama had been evolving in studies and colleges. Some were no doubt performed in public, others in academic environments, but many seem to have existed only as printed texts.

These two strands clashed spectacularly in the Querelle du Cid of His Horace is already much more easily recognizable as a classical structure, and the path that led to the glories of Racine was laid out. This somewhat arid theoretical dispute was no doubt stimulated in part by healthy rivalry between the theatrical companies that were already vying for audiences in Paris. By the time he returned in , the theatrical landscape had markedly altered.

Nevertheless, few can have doubted that they were in the presence of inventive mastery: spiteful criticism is generated by jealousy rather than contempt. Where Corneille had felt the unities to be a straitjacket, Racine found they corresponded perfectly to his conception of the tragic world as a trap in which hapless humans are obliged to make life-defining decisions without time, resources or hope of escape. Although the period is rightly associated with plays that adhered almost slavishly to the doctrines of verisimilitude, decorum and unity, its theatrical life was by no means as austere as that reputation might suggest.

During the same period, the influence of Shakespeare was having a much stronger impact on the development of German drama, but France was relatively isolated culturally as well as politically, and actors and audiences—insofar as they survived the decade of the Revolution and the Terror—remained faithful to an essentially conservative view of the theater. By that date, Musset had not only witnessed but actively supported a revival of French classical tragedies built around the person of Rachel at the Gymnase Theater, and following the retirement or death of Mlle Mars retired , Marie Dorval retired and Joanny died , the French stage was once again seeking a new direction and a fresh start.

The period was dominated, however, by a new focus on the portrayal of everyday life, of recognizable contemporary French character types in their familiar context, as drama followed narrative fiction into Realism. As the Realist and Naturalist schools had been a reaction against the wilder imaginings of the Romantic movement, so they in turn invited a counter-reaction, which in France took the quite distinctive form of Symbolism. That these are considered significant events indicates the early existence of what was to be the most distinctive feature of 20th-century French theatrical life, its domination not by authors, or even by actors, but by directors.

The dark years of the late s and World War II did not see a total eclipse of theatrical activity: actors including Barrault, Madeleine Renaud, Alain Cuny, Pierre Dux and Marie Bell continued to perform new works by Jean Giono, Henry de Montherlant, Cocteau and Claudel, before a new generation led by Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus ensured the continuing political relevance of theater in the face of aggression and occupation. The Theater of the Absurd continued the challenge to audience expectations that had characterized the works of Jarry, the Surrealists and Cocteau: like them, Absurdist authors sought to provoke rather than convince or entice spectators.

They took to a new level their demonstration of the inadequacy of language for human communication, and their systematic devaluing of all conventional theatrical resources, such as character, plot and diction. The period was still dominated by directors more than by playwrights: among dramatists of the postwar generation, Michel Vinaver and Yasmina Reza seem assured of an international reputation, but are considerably outnumbered by stage practitioners and designers such as Roger Planchon, Jean-Marie Serreau, Antoine Vitez, Jacques Lassalle, Peter Brook, Ariane Mnouchkine and Yannis Kokkos.

French theater in the past half century has always been characterized by creative interactions—between tradition and innovation; between authors and theater practitioners; between theorists, semiologists and creative artists; between theater itself and cinema or other performance media—and although these have sometimes brought tension and controversy, they have all contributed to a vigor, inventiveness and exuberant life that seem to ensure the ongoing centrality of live performance art to the French artistic consciousness.

NOTES 1. Vivian Mercier — writing in the Irish Times, 18 February , p. Voltaire used the phrase in a letter to Nicolas Trublet, 27 April Theodore Besterman, vol. See M. Abirached was responsible for considerable increases in the state subsidy of regional and national theater, and for a major reorganization of systems of control. Also referred to as theater of derision and as anti-theater, it emphasized either a philosophical stance that explores the meaninglessness of existence see CAMUS, ALBERT or a total resistance to the idea that theater can expound meaning or reflect reality.

It had roots in Alfred Jarry and Surrealist theater and was influenced by the complex theatricality of Luigi Pirandello — Undermining conventional notions of character, plot and diction, Absurd Theater often attacks social injustice and individual conformism or inadequacy, but its true target was the complacency of traditional theater audiences. A learned society founded by Cardinal Richelieu in , officially recognized by Louis XIII in , entrusted initially with the preservation and purity of the French language, and as part of that task with the compilation of an authoritative dictionary of French the first edition of which did not appear until It has more recently taken on an additional role as patron of the arts, awarding grants and around 60 literary prizes.

You Coming to Play with Me? Achard also wrote scenarios or screenplays for early films, notably Mayerling by Anatole Litvak — , Madame de. Pejorative terms in common use include cabotin, histrion and baladin. As in other Western cultures, actors in France have generally been treated with some disdain by social and intellectual snobs. In that period most actors were identified with a particular character type—king, old man, wily servant, young lover—and often retained the same character name in roles that were written for them.

From the Romantic period through to the early 20th century, the French stage was again more dominated by individuals, such as Mounet-Sully, Rachel and Talma. The increasing importance of stage directors in 20th-century theater has led to a relative decline in the status and individuality of actors, although the cinema has ensured that major figures continue to have celebrity status. Every one of these influences was developed outside France but had significant impact on the work of major French directors in the 20th century. Symbolist poet, novelist, journalist and dramatist.

French dramatist of Armenian origin. His early life was disrupted by World War I, when he was exiled in Germany, and this experience, allied to the influence of Franz Kafka — , Carl Jung — and early Surrealism, led to a strong sense of personal alienation. Either the transcription of a nondramatic text most commonly a novel for the stage or the transposition of a play from its original setting to a different context. In the case of translations, a delicate balance must be struck: literal fidelity to the original generally produces a translation that is simply bad, so some adaptation to the language and culture of the target audience is essential.

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Dadaist poet, dramatist and theater manager. Having trained as an artist and sculptor, he abandoned work in that sphere after World War I and devoted himself to journalism, directing the influential modernist journal SIC, to which the leading figures of Futurism and Surrealism contributed, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy — , Louis Aragon — , Philippe Soupault — , Raymond Radiguet — and Tristan Tzara.

He retired in A line of French verse consisting of 12 syllables, which was the basic metrical constituent of most verse plays from the Renaissance to the Romantic period. Vite, ouvrons. Steps on the hidden Staircase anyway! Quick, open up. Journalist and dramatist in the Naturalist school. It was finally closed and demolished in Pseudonym of Georges Mathevon de Curnieu — , minor comic dramatist, author of M. Prolific dramatist, excelling in all genres from light vaudeville to tragedy. His bittersweet comedies are in the tradition of Marivaux, his classical tragedies—often informed with a strong sense of the theatrical—use the linguistic dexterity of a Jean Giraudoux to evoke the intensity of a Jean Racine.

His works are difficult to classify in conventional terms, partly because of the secrecy with which he surrounded his private life and influences, and partly because of his refusal to align himself either with mainstream popular theater or with the avant-garde. His strengths in the use of theatrical space, trenchant dialogue and wit to expose banality are always directed toward a bitter and ultimately pessimistic exposure of social convention, of commercialism, of hypocrisy and of blind allegiance to traditional values such as democracy, love and the family.

Antoine articulated the theory of the fourth wall: when the curtain rises, the spectator observes the interior of the set as though a wall has been removed from a real venue. After World War I, confronted with a reaction against Naturalism led by Jacques Copeau and Louis Jouvet, Antoine had little involvement with theatrical activity but concentrated on cinema and on criticism.

Apollinaire also wrote a three-act verse play, La Couleur du temps Color of Time, Although Cubism, Dadaism and Futurism did not create many successful individual works of theater, they provided a link between the Symbolist theater of the s and Absurd Theater. Ancient Greek philosopher and literary theorist whose Poetics provided a constant source of ideas on classical drama, particularly tragedy it is believed that a section of the Poetics devoted to comedy was lost.

Several key concepts that are considered integral to the special qualities of tragedy can be traced to the Poetics—the generation of catharsis by arousing pity and fear, the use of peripeteia and anagnorisis to produce a dramatic climax, and the notion of hamartia as the basis of ethical ambiguity—although Aristotle gave less weight than has often been thought to formal considerations such as the unities, and much of what he said on other topics is condensed and contradictory.

Writer and dramatist of Spanish origin who has lived in Paris since ; his plays were written predominantly for the French stage, some being translated into French by his wife. His drama, strongly influenced by Antonin Artaud, Franz Kafka — and Alfred Jarry, draws on carnival traditions to explore serious social and political themes. Eroticism, mysticism and dream combine to produce a brutal theatricality of joyful subversion. His work is haunted by his reaction to the dictatorship of Spain — under Francisco Franco — : ecclesiastical corruption, military oppression and social misery are all challenged by heartless derision.

Like Absurd Theater, his output combines farce with tragedy, fantasy and caricature with pitiless realism, vulgarity with poetry. Overall, his output is disconcerting and provocative through its combination of fantasy, social didacticism and destructive humor. He has also written 12 novels, film scenarios and several volumes of poems and essays and created a wide range of visual artworks.

Surrealist stage director, actor and theorist about theater. Born in Marseille, he was brought up and educated there and in Smyrna the home of his mother and grandmother. He spent several periods of his life, amounting to about seven years in total, in institutions undergoing treatment for mental disorders. Artaud was influenced in this direction by the ritualistic violence and expressive gestures of oriental, particularly Balinese, theater, as well as by the incantatory abstract language of Symbolism.

Despite this lack of commercial success, Artaud continued to expound his dream of founding a new kind of French theater that would be less an artistic spectacle than a theater of magic, a communion between spectators and actors, based on awe and terror rather than logic. A type of double enunciation: a remark uttered by an onstage character in such a way as to indicate, by convention, that other persons on the stage cannot hear it.

Information, usually a cunning plot or a ploy to deceive, can thereby be transmitted to the audience. Theater building and company in Paris. You Coming to Play With Me? Jean-Louis Barrault made his first stage appearance there in Writer and theorist of drama, remembered chiefly as an opponent of Pierre Corneille in a number of literary controversies in the mid17th century. Dramatist, author and journalist. Although criticized by some as an exponent of outmoded styles of boulevard theater, Audiberti was receptive to those modern theatrical techniques that are associated with carnival, and his intense and joyful verbal dexterity is reminiscent of Renaissance and baroque drama.

He was awarded the Grand Prix National des Lettres in In France as elsewhere in Western Europe the original audiences of dramatic spectacles were passers-by at open-air performances by traveling players. By the 16th century, performances in colleges and other educational establishments were aimed at more learned humanist scholars, but the public theater remained a barely respectable place, dominated by the violent tragicomedies and pastoral dramas of Alexandre Hardy and later by the broad farces of Gros-Guillaume, Gaultier-Garguille and Turlupin.

From that date, although comic dramatists have often poked fun at the varied tastes, prudishness or vulgarity of different elements in their audience, they have seldom had cause to complain about the mass appeal of theater to a wide public in France. Victor Hugo rather provocatively drew attention to the existence of a full social and intellectual range of spectators by asserting in his preface to Ruy Blas that he felt it was his duty to satisfy the tastes of several categories at once: the crowd, which demanded action, intellectuals, who demanded characterization, and women, who demanded the exploration of feeling.

Like Bertolt Brecht, they remained convinced that the purpose of theater should be to challenge the expectations and prejudices of the spectators, not to be complicit with them. Such an approach to drama exploits to the full the devices associated with double enunciation—chorus or narrator, aside and soliloquy—to remind the audience at all times that they are witnessing a performance. The growth of cinema, television and other forms of cultural experience has at times threatened the ability of live theater to command an audience in market terms, and competition for spectators faced with a wider range of activities and with the rising relative cost of theater tickets has led to tensions between artistic and commercial theater, and between practitioners and business interests.

Theaters depend on box office income for their continued existence, and the current response of the French theater world to competition has been dynamic, with considerable expansion of drama in public places, fringe festivals and continued support for local activity based on the network of Maisons de la Culture.

Poirier M. Annual festival of music and drama. Its inauguration in is seen as a turning point in the liberation of French culture from traditional centralization: the provincial, openair and popular focus gave theater in particular a new lease on life. By the early s the festival was established also as an international meeting place for students, who camped and debated as well as attending formal and informal performances. It became a focus for controversy in in the spirit of that year, Vilar made a space available for an iconoclastic young company, Living Theatre, which then failed to cooperate with the festival authorities, refused to negotiate with Vilar himself, and finally precipitated violent clashes in which the riot police CRS intervened.

Vilar was succeeded in by Paul Puaux — ; colleagues of Vilar, including Jorge Lavelli, Roger Planchon and Georges Wilson, ensured continuity, while younger actors and directors such as Peter Brook, Jacques Lassalle, Ariane Mnouchkine and Antoine Vitez maintained the tradition of innovation. The repertoire became more consistently contemporary. He also encouraged multimedia events and experiments.

From , director Alain Crombecque made the festival more international, introducing music and dance events from Africa and Asia as well as contemporary music and poetry readings. Despite this diversity, the focus of the festival remains French theater.

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Since September , its codirectors have been Vincent Baudriller — and Hortense Archambault —. Dramatist, also journalist and novelist. His childhood was disrupted by the death of his mother and by World War I, and after two bouts of illness in the s, and two false starts as a student in engineering then in medicine, he devoted himself to writing from It was through writing early film dialogues that his theatrical career was launched, and he concentrated on dramatic writing in the s.

He was briefly involved in the theater of commitment, adapting The Crucible by Arthur Miller — in for the Parisian stage. Thereafter his work, classical in form, combined satirical elements with fantasy and is generally considered rather lightweight, partly because he does not link his bitter, often shrewd, social observations with any heavy or explicit moralizing.

Poet and dramatist, responsible for adaptations in French of classical plays, including Le Brave The Swaggerer, after Plautus. French term feminine baladine for a strolling actor, now generally used with an archaic flavor to indicate a clownish improvised acting style. Count Almaviva employs Figaro—barber, apothecary and general factotum—to help in his pursuit and courtship of Rosine, kept under tutelage by Dr Bartholo.

In successive disguises as a soldier and a singing teacher, the count attempts to hoodwink the jealous and perceptive Bartholo, but in the end it is the straightforward theft of a key and deceit of a notary that enables the young couple to marry. Stage name of Michel Boyron — , actor. Although he retired in , he returned to act alongside Adrienne Lecouvreur from until his death. Artistic term of uncertain origin applied to European art and architecture of the early 17th century and to music of the mid- to late 17th century.

By analogy it came to be used for literature, both poetry and drama, that shared with baroque art its elaborate complexity, dramatic effectiveness and taste for the fantastic. In most artistic spheres it was defined retrospectively by contrast with a tendency toward greater classical regularity and harmony, which followed it. The dramatist most frequently referred to as baroque is the Englishman Ben Jonson — ; in French drama the term is applied to Pierre Corneille and to the elaborate machine plays that were popular through the middle of the 17th century.

Baroque dramas are complex in structure, grandiose in style and often explore themes of illusion and deceit. Actor and stage director. He did more than any other individual to break down barriers of convention and vested interest in postwar theater. As stage director, particularly in association with his wife Madeleine Renaud, Barrault took modern French drama to an international audience. In all aspects of his eclectic repertoire he stressed the physicality of performance and the power of multimedia spectacle.

Crimea-born theater director. He also became a specialist in productions of the Russian repertoire. Stage name of Jeanne-Julia Regnault — , actress. She enjoyed a versatile career in both comedy and tragedy, in plays from both the classical and the contemporary repertoire, including the first performances of new plays by Alexandre Dumas fils, Paul Hervieu and Henry Bernstein, until her retirement in Its members performed entertaining dramas on the occasion of their annual festival and then on public holidays. They introduced morality plays and farces into the repertoire, performed either in public places or in the hall of the Palais de Justice in Paris.

Stage director who, in conflict with Jacques Copeau and Louis Jouvet and under the influence of German Expressionism, subordinated the text to innovative forms of movement and lighting, in quest of atmospheric productions. A style of architecture and art based on functionality that arose in Germany after Her work, often brutal in its physicality, conveyed a cynical view of human relationships and frequently used collage effects combining fragments of text, music and dance.

Having trained and performed in Essen, Germany, and New York, she won the European Theater Prize in and was a commander in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, among other international awards. Her creative energy remained constant until her sudden death. Comic dramatist. Political satire forms an important element in his output.

The Revolution itself involved Beaumarchais in financial loss and a period of exile, but he returned to Paris, deaf and broken in health, in His two successful comedies are still frequently performed in France, although internationally each is better known in operatic adaptations, both remarkably faithful to the original drama: Le Nozze di Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — and Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioacchino Rossini.

Author, highly influential feminist and lifelong companion of Jean-Paul Sartre. Born in Dublin, and influenced by James Joyce as well as by French Surrealist poets, he settled in France in and wrote in French from , although he translated several of his texts into English. With En Attendant Godot Waiting for Godot, , published in and directed by Roger Blin in , he established the voice of the marginalized—clowns, tramps and other downtrodden individuals—as central to the exposition of a philosophy of emptiness.

Although his plays contain much wit and verbal dexterity, they lack the virtuosity of Ionesco and are characterized by minimalist techniques and bitter irony in which huge energy is misdirected at pathetic or trivial aims. Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in Dramatist who struggled against conservative commercial forces in the Parisian theater of the s to establish Realism as a serious and viable approach to drama. Although Becque wrote five further plays, the rest of his career was largely dominated by journalism and criticism.

He used his income from these to further what he considered a more serious literary career as novelist and librettist. He overcame a stutter to succeed in young male leads. She had also been successful in tragedy. Stage name of Pierre Le Messier — , actor and theater manager. He continued in that position until , when he is thought to have sold his interest in the company for an unprecedented sum to his brother-in-law Floridor.

Stage name of Nicole Gassot — , wife of Bellerose, sister of Du Croisy, and the most distinguished actress in Paris between and Moroccan novelist, poet and journalist, encouraged by Jean Genet and others to explore links between psychiatry and literature. He emigrated to France in Court poet and dramatist, best remembered for ballet scenarios and for epigrammatic poetry. A noble, destined for an ecclesiastical career, he appears to have been distracted into theatrical activity by his affection for Mlle Bellerose, for whom he composed a version of the Cleopatra story in His particular talent was the composition of short poems for ballet libretti, in which he described a character in terms that made witty allusion to the private life of the dancer.

Considered to be the purest example of classical tragic form, the play takes to an extreme its adherence to the unities and its reduction of all action to the barest minimum. That moment described by Titus in II, 2 is presented as critical for his perception of himself and his role: he is suddenly conscious that, as emperor, he can no longer dream of marriage, or even a long-term relationship, with someone who is of foreign extraction and who is of regal status—both of these factors would under Roman constitutional law be unacceptable in the consort of the emperor.

He was married from to to the Irish Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson — , who performed in Paris in His works combine wit, often expressed in memorable aphorisms, with satire and gentle fantasy. Stage name of Henriette Rosine Bernard — , actress. She continued to act even after her right leg had to be amputated in Boulevard dramatist who specialized in psychological studies exposing the secret workings of closed social circles.

In 17th-century France this concept of verisimilitude was linked to a broader sense that dramatic representation should not offend against good taste. The two interpretations of decorum could come into conflict, as Jean Racine found when Pyrrhus, in his Andromaque , was criticized for not being as cruel as he was in the established source documents, and also for being too cruel for his behavior to be acceptable.

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The clothes worn by actors form an integral part of the message received by the spectators. Richard has well said of this change: Au lieu d'etre celui qui dit adieu aux choses, et qui celebre melancoliquement leur secession, il va devenir celui qui occupe activement, comme un 'brasier', ou un soleil tout neuf, le centre de 1'espace, et a partir duquel seul les choses prendront sens. Biographie Massimo Sgorbani. Bernard et P. Stage name of Pierre Le Messier — , actor and theater manager. Desirade: an island in the Antilles so named by Christopher Columbus. Nous sommes, encore une fois, sur un seuil redoutable, mais ou les contraires tendent a se Commentaries pp.

Dramatist, radio dramatist, novelist, actor and critic, disciple of Charles Dullin. How Goes It with the World, Sir? Round and Round, Sir, Round and Round! He cultivated a physical theater written in a poetic style and at his best achieved the fusion of the grotesque and the tragic that characterizes Absurd Theater. Composer of operas and other stage music. His music is characterized by its tunefulness, and his operas by their dramatic intensity.

As director he was particularly sympathetic to actors, giving them freedom to follow their own instincts in gesture, diction and humor. Stage name of Pierre Tousez — , actor.

François Batet

Never offer anything unbelievable to the audience: what is true is not necessarily credible. A wonder has no appeal to me if it is absurd: the mind is not touched by what it cannot believe in. Let nature therefore be your guide in all things, if you seek to be honored as a dramatic author. Comedy is no friend of sighing and weeping, so bans from its verses all tragic pain—nevertheless it has no business to descend to the market and seduce the common people with low and vulgar language.

Paris theater, built as a drama school in and taken over in by Jacques Offenbach for productions of his own operettas. Under the direction of Jean-Claude Brialy since , the company has remained loyal to its essentially light staple repertoire. French word derived from Italian buffone for a clown, generally applied with pejorative connotations to comic acting that depends on vulgar or crudely physical effects. Victor Hugo and Romantic dramatists sought deliberately to integrate the grotesquely comic alongside sublime or tragic elements in their works, because this provided a truer reflection of the complexities and ambiguities of existence.

On the other hand, avant-garde and literary drama is more likely to depend on patronage or subsidy, and there will always be a place in the world of theater for plays that draw audiences at commercial rates. Stage name of the actor Jules-Victor-Alexandre Dumont — , who starred at the Palais-Royal in Paris from to , becoming its director.

Stage and theater director. He is also a distinguished operatic director. German playwright and stage director full name Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht whose ideas had considerable influence in postwar France. He directed the Berliner Ensemble, which visited Paris in and A communist, he lived in exile in the Nazi period, returning to East Germany in His father, Pierre Marcoureau? He is remembered for having made fashionable a hairstyle, short at the front and long at the back, mentioned in the novels of Marcel Proust — Actor, stage director, film director, journalist and radio presenter.

Stage name of Jean-Baptiste Britard — , actor. Responsible in the s and s for introducing the contemporary French repertoire notably Jean Cocteau and Jean Anouilh to the London stage, he has subsequently directed performances in English of William Shakespeare at the Bouffes du Nord. Stage name of Jean Gracieux? Scottish humanist scholar and teacher whose Latin plays were influential in the development of early classical French tragedy. A form of comic writing, not exclusively dramatic, that features exaggerated stylistic effects often applied inappropriately to trivial or low subjects for the sake of satire to mock pompous attitudes or behaviors or parody to mock overblown literary styles or genres.

Nineteenth-century burlesque formed part of the popular pantomime or vaudeville traditions in which innuendo and titillation undermined pretentious attitudes toward art and prudish attitudes toward sexual activity. French term feminine cabotine, the masculine form sometimes abbreviated to cabot used to refer to a mediocre or ham actor.

The tradition is kept alive at Le Lucernaire and also by the tendency of major theater houses to operate a second auditorium in the style of a studio theater. Exponent of the philosophy of the Absurd, and influential journalist and novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in Nicolas Bataille continued to hold the role of M. Martin on an occasional basis until his death, alongside two other members of the original cast, Simone Mozet — as Mme Martin and Odette Barrois — as the maid.

The play was originally based on an English-language textbook that Ionesco was using, and the inconsequentiality and repetitiveness of the dialogue reflected that source to powerful comic effect: in extended sequences of total nonsense, communication is presented as banal, and logic and identity as unreliable. Stereotypes of English middle-class couples, their maid and an officer of the fire brigade make self-evident statements and then by word associations twist them into meaninglessness.

This represents as much a parody of the expectations of conventional theater audiences as a serious satire on real attitudes or behavior. The play builds up to an explosive climax of linguistic virtuosity leading to a sudden silence after which the play appears to begin again. Thus the standard features of conventional drama—formal cohesion, dialogue, plot and characterization—are all systematically undermined.

A comic effect, not exclusively dramatic but primarily visual, in which an individual person or character-type is mocked by the grotesque exaggeration of one aspect of his or her physical appearance or of one characteristic or attitude. Writer and actor who has made a specialty of adapting narrative texts for stage or screen.

à : to, toward, towards

Strengthened by this cooperation, experimental and artistic theater was better able to withstand commercial pressures. The metaphor by which Aristotle in his Poetics sought to define the experience of the tragic. In its literal meaning, purification or purgation, it refers to either religious or medical practice: drama is akin to a ritual by which a social group can come to terms with disruptive elements, or to a medical intervention by which harmony and balance are restored to an organism. Art, and tragic drama in particular, by effecting the catharsis of emotions such as pity and fear, ensured that they were proportionate and appropriate.

This theory of the tragic has been debated in almost all periods of literary history. It underpinned the French classical conception of tragedy, even though both Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine interpreted it in rather idiosyncratic ways. Religious and civic authorities have often believed or imagined that theatrical activity can be subversive or threatening.

Comedy, like other forms of caricature, portrays authority figures as ridiculous, while serious drama or tragedy might call into question the nature of justice. Accordingly, there has frequently been tension between theater companies, dramatic authors and government officials whose role was to protect public morality and control all forms of entertainment. However, these plays did explicitly criticize both the hypocrisy and the gullibility of contemporary religious observances, and many plays were in practice tolerated despite their implicit challenges to religious and social orthodoxy.

As the French Revolution approached, it was political rather than religious authority that became defensive in the face of challenges from the theater. After the Revolution, the declaration of the rights of man included a basic right to freedom of speech and opinion, but some control over public performance was retained on the grounds that uninhibited challenges to established authority or to accepted taste could jeopardize public order. Central censorship of theatrical repertoire was reestablished in , when the Ministry of the Interior would supply via the prefects a list of condemned plays to each performing company, and although censorship of publication was lifted in , that of theater performance remained in place until After , responsibility for approving or banning specific plays was devolved to local municipal authorities.

This could have the effect that local pressure groups had a disproportionate impact: traders, for example, did not dare to attend plays of which their more influential customers might disapprove. This example of auto-censorship was criticized both by theater colleagues and by political authorities and probably contributed to the failure of Bozonnet to obtain reappointment. Most significant Francophone author of the postcolonial period, although more associated with political journalism and poetry than with theater. He was born in Martinique.

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Stage name of Charles Chevillet — , actor and dramatist. Stage name of Marie Desmares — , actress. Posterity has shared this opinion. Stage director, actor and film director. His productions have often been based on a radical redefinition of the nature of heroism, involving a negative reevaluation of classical heroes such as Hamlet or Peer Gynt.

Originally a group of actors in ancient Greek drama who represented a particular element of society citizens, slaves, women and whose reactions, presented in song, dance and gesture, steered the audience toward a moral interpretation of the events of the play. The constant presence of the chorus throughout a performance was partly responsible for the unities of time and place. This established also the convention of double enunciation: the chorus expresses its own emotional reaction while conveying crucial information to the audience.

Thereafter, although choruses remained an integral part of opera, they were seldom if ever used in French plays until the 20th century, when their use both as narrator and as defamiliarizing device was again appreciated, particularly by Jean Cocteau and Jean Anouilh. Set designer and machinist. LE CID. Five-act verse play by Pierre Corneille, first performed as a tragicomedy at the Marais theater in Paris in January ; slightly revised and republished as a tragedy in ; further revised for republication in One of the most successful plays of the 17th century, it prompted the company to begin the practice of allowing wealthy patrons to sit on the stage during the performances.

This ending is susceptible to various interpretations. This ambiguity although modern opinion might consider it a strength was one of several criticisms leveled against the play in the querelle du Cid, which dominated literary discussion and divided informed opinion for the following year. With its use of a multiple set and problematic relationship with the unities of both time and action, the play retains several features of baroque drama, although its coherence, its concentration on internal conflict rather than external danger, and its poetic qualities point toward the approaching classical period.

Feminist writer and intellectual who sees theater as a useful tool in the feminist campaign. Born in Algeria, she moved to France in and published a series of important theoretical essays. Influenced by Jacques Derrida — , she combines serious philosophical and political thought with a playful style and with inventive development of literary forms.

Her more recent works for the theater have become increasingly concerned with ethical and political questions in contemporary history, especially the effects of colonialism, corruption and social injustice. Supported by Voltaire, she spent some time at his home in Ferney recuperating from illness in and retired from public performance shortly afterward, although she remained active in campaigns to ameliorate the social reputation of her profession and to resist opposition to it from ecclesiastical authorities.

Literary term applied generally to forms of art in which regularity and harmony are valued above rich or varied creativity. In theater history, the term is associated particularly with drama that adheres to the three unities. Dominant French dramatist of the first half of the 20th century. A career diplomat, Claudel traveled to China in , to Brazil in with the composer Darius Milhaud as his secretary and to America in Partage de midi Break of Noon, draws on autobiographical elements, investigating both the guilt of adulterous love and the conflict between a religious vocation and sexual passion.

He was awarded the Prix Ludmilla Tcherina in in recognition of his lifetime contribution to theater. Although often impossible to classify, his works show affinities with both Surrealism and Expressionism: in the latter category, his emotional monologue La Voix humaine The Human Voice achieved success onstage , in a film version by Roberto Rossellini — , and when set as an opera by Francis Poulenc Theorists of drama, especially those working within the classical tradition, have expressed disquiet at the use of coincidence on the grounds that it defies verisimilitude, but dramatists have always known that theater audiences are seldom in practice troubled by such rational preoccupations.

The French national theater company and its home in Paris. Rachel led a renewed vogue for classical tragedy in the middle years of the century. Significant internal reconstruction of the building took place in — During the Franco-Prussian War and the siege of Paris — , the theater could not function normally, although fund-raising performances without costume were held, and the buildings were frequently commandeered for use as hospitals.

Perrin also introduced a system of season tickets. Les Beaux Jours Happy Days in The Salle Richelieu was extensively renovated in — and in Muriel Mayette — has held the post of administrative director since August French term meaning lachrymose or sentimental drama and referring to a genre popular in the 18th century. Succeeding companies at the same venue used the same name and became established as the most significant performers of drama in France.

After , under the leadership of Bellerose and with royal patronage, and particularly after their theater building was refurbished in , they reestablished themselves as the leading Paris company and for the first time put on rival productions of plays previously performed at the Marais; when Floridor joined them from that company, Pierre Corneille also gave them the first performances of his new plays.

This definition encompasses a very wide range of tones, from hilarious and grotesque clowning to sophisticated wit. In both the 19th and 20th centuries, the clear distinction between the tragic and the comic was broken down: Victor Hugo insisted that his drame fused together the sublime and the grotesque, and Absurd Theater similarly drew on extremes of hilarity and comic inventiveness to explore fundamentally serious themes. An Italian theatrical tradition dependent on stock characters, schematized gestures, use of masks or visors and improvisation.

Their performances, although based on a strong central story line Italian canovaccio, French canevas , consisted of separate comic routines for which the Italian word lazzi is also used in French , enabling the actors to incorporate local and contemporaneous references and to respond dynamically to each audience. Movement promulgating the political engagement of theatrical activity, particularly associated with the period after World War II. A company of actors established in Paris in to perform mystery plays and given official status by Charles VI in Major French stage director of the interwar years.

He was also involved in antisemitic politics at the time of the Dreyfus affair — If that play, which seems Shakespearean in its systematic defiance of all the aspects of unity, harmony and concision that were to characterize French classicism, had achieved greater success, the path of 17th-century French drama might have been very different. Horace and Cinna are Roman tragedies exploring the relationship between politics and personal emotion, while Polyeucte is a martyr play.

Following the failure of Pertharite in , he abandoned the theater for almost a decade, devoting himself to religious verse writing, but during that period he revised many of his earlier plays and published them, together with critical and theoretical texts, in a collected edition in Brother of Pierre Corneille and himself a top-ranking dramatist and opera librettist, although posterity has accorded him considerably less status than Pierre.

Like the latter, he produced successful works in many genres, and his tragedy Timocrate , performed at the Marais theater in the presence of the king, was the single most successful play in 17thcentury France. The complexity of his plots, often based on mistaken identity or other misunderstandings, and the sentimentality of his characterization and poetic language, appealed to his contemporaries, who were less concerned than posterity about his lack of originality and the artificiality of many of his situations.

The clothes worn by actors form an integral part of the message received by the spectators. The director and designer have discretion to impose a balance between realism and convention: costumes may reflect the period in which the action of the play is set, the period in which it was first performed or a different period to which the action has been transferred, or they may be purely symbolic.

Seventeenth-century French actors owned their costumes and tended to use them indiscriminately, with at most some symbolic additions—ribbons or patches of ermine—to suggest a specific status or location. Evocation of the ancient world was achieved by the use of togas for male characters. Costume provided an essential ingredient in the Realist and Naturalist theater of the 19th century, dominated by the quest for accuracy and authenticity. Modern theater generally stresses the symbolism of costume rather than the depiction of any precise period.

Pseudonym of Georges Victor Marcel Moinaux — , comic dramatist in the boulevard farce and vaudeville tradition, which he carried into the early 20th century. She gained some notoriety through a particularly gruesome and spectacular suicide scene in Le Sphinx by Octave Feuillet — She retired in to live in the country with the banker Jacques Stern, whom she married in Her brother-in-law, the prolific portrait painter Carolus Duran — , left an impressive painting of her on horseback.

Belgian actor, journalist and dramatist who divided his life between Brussels and Paris. Le Cocu magnifique obtained an international reputation, being directed all over Europe and by Vsevolod Meyerhold — in the Soviet Union. Artistic movement that flourished between and , associated particularly with Pablo Picasso — and Georges Braque — These plays are characterized by the exploration of a somewhat morbid psychology.

His thesis plays, exploring philosophical ideas and moral dilemmas in a Naturalist style, also included La Nouvelle Idole The New Idol, , which tackles the moral implications of scientific progress, and Terre inhumaine Inhuman Land, A nihilistic version of Surrealism, associated particularly with Tristan Tzara. Noted developer of early photography, also distinguished in his day as a scenic artist and stage lighting specialist. They combine witty dialogue with a realistic depiction of the society of the time, poking fun at snobbery and pretentiousness and portraying with cynicism all levels of society, including the peasantry.

He also wrote court entertainments and operatic parodies. Prolific popular novelist best known for racy police thrillers published under the pseudonym San Antonio. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson — Stage name of Joseph Jean-Baptiste Albouy — , actor. Stage name of Catherine Le Clerc du Rozet — , actress. Born Catherine Leclerc, she was both the daughter and the wife of actors: her father Claude Leclerc?

Term used to describe the result of any technique, acting style or production device that has the effect of reminding the spectators that what they are witnessing is a performance rather than reality. Defamiliarization has its roots in Russian Formalist criticism of the early 20th century, when it was perceived as a function of all art to cast new light on the everyday; in drama it is often seen as having a double function, making the spectators reassess both their conventional lives and the role of theater in society.

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