Theatre Companies of the World - Vol. 2

By Colby H. Kullman; William C. Young | Go to book overview

France

INTRODUCTION
The two major changes in French theatrical landscape after World War II were the decentralization of the theatre and the rise of the metteur-en-scène (stage director). Before World War II, there was no single theatre outside Paris that would have been termed significant; now there are dozens, all of which, except the Théâtre National Populaire, were founded after 1945. Most major cities now have some sort of theatre, many with permanent companies. Most of these developments can be credited to two ministers of culture, Jeanne Laurent and André Malraux who encouraged prominent theatrical figures in Paris to go to the provinces. Standards for these companies are generally very high, frequently higher than those of boulevard theatres, especially the quality of the repertory.Decentralization has affected not only the provinces, but Paris as well; several good companies are located both in Paris (away from the boulevards) and in the suburbs. Most of these companies perform high-quality productions at low prices. Even the Comédie Française has the Odéon, which hosts theatre productions from the provinces.The French government classifies all theatrical-producing organizations as follows:
1. The Maisons de la Culture, which import plays from both Paris and the provinces at high cost. These are frequently handsome buildings, the one at Firminy being designed by Le Corbusier.
2. The Centres Dramatiques Nationaux, which are funded by both state and local governments. Many of these have permanent companies.
3. The Théâtres Municipals, which are local theatres and import touring productions without any particular program in mind.
4. The Théâtres et Compagnies Dramatiques, which are funded by only local bodies.
5. The Théâtres Nationaux, which are few in number and are funded by the state.
6. The private theatres, most of which operate as do Broadway or West End theatres, though a few have companies that operate on a permanent basis, such as the Renaud-

-620-

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Theatre Companies of the World - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • United States of America 505
  • Introduction 507
  • Wstern Europe (excluding Scandinavia 549
  • Austria 551
  • Belgium 567
  • East Germany 578
  • France 620
  • Great Britain 663
  • Italy 714
  • The Netherlands 750
  • Portugal 763
  • Spain 770
  • Switzerland 779
  • West Germany 788
  • Suggestions for Additional Reading 875
  • Index 891
  • About the Contributors 967
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