Jean Vilar

Last updated
Jean Vilar
Jean Vilar au festival d'Avignon 1967 en compagnie d'Antoine Bourseiller et Francois Billetdoux.jpg
Jean Vilar (right) in Festival d'Avignon 1967 with Antoine Bourseiller (left), and François Billetdoux.
Born25 March 1912
Sète, Hérault, France
Died28 May 1971 (1971-05-29) (aged 59)
Sète, Hérault, France
OccupationActor and director

Jean Vilar (25 March 1912, Sète, Hérault – 28 May 1971, Sète, Hérault) was a French actor and theatre director. [1]


Vilar trained under actor and theatre director Charles Dullin, then toured with an acting company throughout France. His directorial career began in 1943 in a small theatre in Paris. In 1947, he accepted an invitation to direct the first annual drama festival at Avignon.

Frustrated with what he felt was the narrow élitist horizons of the theatre, he devoted himself to creating a "people's theatre" and became a dominant force in the decentralization of theatre. He created two major theatrical institutions, the Festival d'Avignon and the Théâtre National Populaire. His policy was to make theatre accessible to the greatest possible number of people.

Like Paul Valery, he is buried in the Cimetiere Marin, Sete. On 18 July 1979 the theatre department of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the city of Avignon and the Association Jean Vilar opened the Maison Jean-Vilar in the Hôtel de Crochans in Avignon to further Vilar's work, the Festival d'Avignon, the 'OFF' and theatre and performance in Avignon and the surrounding region. [2]


1946 Gates of the Night Le clochard / La fortune
1947 The Sharks of Gibraltar Percy Carters
1948 The Bouquinquant Brothers Le prêtre
1948Carrefour du crimeInspecteur Dominique
1949Les eaux troublesUlysse
1949La ferme des sept péchésL'homme gris / Grey man
1950 Thirst of Men Le typographe
1950 Justice Is Done Le prêtre à l'imprimerie
1951 Pirate Submarine Submarine Commandant Jean L'Herminier
1951Les mousquetaires du roi
1952 Jocelyn Le supérieur du nouveau séminaire
1956 Les Aventures de Till L'Espiègle Le duc d'Albe
1958Arènes joyeuses
1961 Enclosure NarratorVoice
1969Des Christs par milliersJean
1971 Raphael, or The Debauched One Horace
1971Le petit matinPaul(final film role)

Related Research Articles

Sète Administrative division in Occitania, France

Sète, also historically spelt Cette and Sette, is a commune in the Hérault department, in the region of Occitania, southern France. Its inhabitants are called Sétois (male) and Sétoises (female).

André Antoine French actor (1858–1943)

André Antoine was a French actor, theatre manager, film director, author, and critic who is considered the father of modern mise en scène in France.

Christophe Honoré French writer and film director (born 1970)

Christophe Honoré is a French writer and film and theatre director.

Georges Corraface Greek-French actor

Georges Corraface is a French actor of Greek origin, born on December 7, 1952 in Paris, France. He performed in film and television, following many years in French theatre, notably as a member of the International Center for Theatre Research under the direction of Peter Brook in the Peter Brook Company. His notable film credits include To Tama, Escape from L.A., La Pasión Turca, Vive La Mariée, Impromptu, Christopher Columbus, A Touch of Spice, and a feature film debut in The Mahabharata. His most popular television appearances include La Bicyclette Bleue, L'Été Rouge in France, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in the USA and Drifting Cities in Greece.

Festival dAvignon

The Festival d'Avignon, or Avignon Festival, is an annual arts festival held in the French city of Avignon every summer in July in the courtyard of the Palais des Papes as well as in other locations of the city. Founded in 1947 by Jean Vilar, it is the oldest existent festival in France and one of the world's greatest. Alongside the official festival, the "In" one, a number of shows are presented in Avignon at the same time of the year and are known as the "Off".

Silvia Monfort French actress

Silvia Monfort was a French actress and theatre director. She was the daughter of the sculptor Charles-Maurice Favre-Bertin and wife of Pierre Gruneberg.

Josep Maria Flotats Actor

Josep Maria Flotats i Picas is a Spanish actor and theatre director.

Michel Bouquet French actor

Michel Bouquet was a French stage and film actor. He appeared in more than 100 films from 1947 to 2020. He won the Best Actor European Film Award for Toto the Hero in 1991 and two Best Actor Césars for How I Killed My Father (2001) and The Last Mitterrand (2005). He also received the Molière Award for Best Actor for Les côtelettes in 1998, then again for Exit the King in 2005. In 2014, he was awarded the Honorary Molière for the sum of his career. He received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 2018.

Théâtre National Populaire

The Théâtre national populaire is a theatre now at Villeurbanne, France. It was founded in 1920 by Firmin Gémier in Paris.

Stanislas Nordey French actor and theatre director (born 1966)

Stanislas Nordey is a French actor and theatre director. He is the son of actress Véronique Nordey and film director Jean-Pierre Mocky.

Éric Vigner

Éric Vigner is a French stage director, actor and scenic designer. He is directing the CDDB-Théâtre de Lorient, Centre Dramatique National from 1996 to 2015.

Antoine Vitez

Antoine Vitez was a French actor, director, and poet. He became a central character and influence on the French theater in the post-war period, especially in the technique of teaching drama. He was also translator of Chekhov, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Mikhail Sholokhov.

Jean Négroni was a French actor and theatre director particularly known for his voice work, such as his role as the narrator in La Jetée (1962).

Théâtre National de Bretagne

The Théâtre national de Bretagne is a cultural institution established in Rennes in 1990 by combining the Centre dramatique de l'Ouest and the Maison de la Culture of Rennes. For some time it was called the "Great Eight" due to the shape of its building. Its mission is centered on creation, dissemination and training at regional, national and international levels. In 2002 it attained the status of European center of dance and theater production. Its director is Arthur Nauzyciel. He also runs the school along with French actor Laurent Poitrenaux. Every year in November the TNB organizes a festival called "Le Festival du TNB" and formerly called "Mettre en scène" (staging).

Jérôme Deschamps, born Neuilly-sur-Seine on 5 October 1947, is an actor, director and stage author, as well as a cinema actor and director associated with the Famille Deschiens troupe founded by Macha Makeïeff in 1978. In 2003 he was appointed artistic director of the Théâtre national de Nîmes, leaving that post for the equivalent at the Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique in June 2007, where he remained until 2015.

René Dupuy was a French actor, theater director and théâtre manager.

Jean-Pierre Miquel was a French actor and theatre director, as well as an administrator of the Comédie française.

Jean Gillibert was a French psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, poet, translator, playwright and theatre director.

Jean-Paul Moulinot was a French actor, sociétaire of the Comédie-Française.

Marcelle Tassencourt was a French actress and theatre director.


  1. Drain, Richard (1995) Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook, Routledge
  2. "Maison Jean Vilar à Avignon : expositions, publications ..."

Other sources