Nouveau-Théâtre (1891–1918 )
Théâtre Réjane (1906–1918)
Petit Théâtre de Paris
|Address||15 rue Blanche|
|Capacity||1,100 (plus 300)|
The Théâtre de Paris is a theatre located at 15, rue Blanche in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. It includes a second smaller venue, the Petit Théâtre de Paris.
The first theatre on the site was built by the Duke of Richelieu in 1730. Baron Ogny bought it in 1779 and renamed it Folie-Richelieu. Then during the First Empire it was directed by Fortunée Hamelin, a celebrated member of the Merveilleuses ("marvelous women") of the Directoire era.
In 1811, the Folie-Richelieu was transformed into a park, then demolished completely in 1851 in the redevelopment under Baron Haussmann. It became the site of the church of Sainte-Trinité de Paris with part of the site becoming a roller skating rink. In 1880, using plans by the architects Aimé Sauffroy and Ferdinand Grémailly, part of the rink became the Palace Théâtre and, after a further restoration in 1891 by Édouard Niermans, the Casino de Paris. After that, the rest of the rink, near the present rue Blanche, was demolished to make way for the Nouveau-Théâtre.
The first director of the Nouveau-Théâtre, was Aurélien Lugné-Poe, who, from 1888 to 1890, had been an actor in the Théâtre Libre company founded by André Antoine. After fulfilling four months of military service in early 1891, Lugné-Poe joined Paul Fort's eclectic Théâtre d'Art, which, from 1890 to 1892, presented poetry recitations, dramatic work by Marlowe, Shelley, and Hugo, as well as new plays by Rachilde, Paul Verlaine, and especially Maurice Maeterlinck (The Intruder, The Blind). When Fort left the enterprise at the start of 1893, Lugné-Poe assumed control, renamed it the Théâtre de l'Œuvre, and pursued aggressively Symbolist programming to rival Antoine's more Naturalistic offerings. Although Antoine had been the first to introduce Paris audiences to the modern drama of Henrik Ibsen (Ghosts, 1890; The Wild Duck , 1891), and Fort had produced The Lady from the Sea in 1892, starring Lugné-Poe as Wangel, it was Lugné-Poe who would make Ibsen his specialty in Paris theatre, premiering (and often starring in) nine Ibsen plays between 1893 and 1897.
Like Paul Fort before him, Lugné-Poe never had a permanent theatre to serve as his company's home stage for the entire run of its initial art-theatre experiment. The Théâtre de l'Œuvre debuted with Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande for a single matinée performance at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in May 1893, but the six engagements in his next season occurred at the distant Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, where he premiered Ibsen's Rosmersholm , An Enemy of the People , and The Master Builder , Gerhart Hauptmann's Lonely Lives, and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's Beyond Human Power, among others. For the May 1894 production of Henri Bataille and Robert d'Humières' Sleeping Beauty, however, he secured Nouveau-Théâtre's space for the first time. Though he concluded the season with August Strindberg's Creditors at the newly built Comédie-Parisienne (later known as Louis Jouvet's Théâtre de l'Athénée), he quickly assumed the directorship of Nouveau-Théâtre for most of the 1894-95 season. There he premiered Maeterlinck's adaptation of John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Annabella), Beaubourg's The Mute Voice, Strindberg's The Father , Śūdraka's The Little Clay Cart , and Maeterlinck's Interieur , among others. While his May 1895 productions (including Ibsen's Little Eyolf ) were staged at the Théâtre des Menus-Plaisirs, he returned to Nouveau-Théâtre to conclude the season with Ibsen's Brand .
The 1895-96 season found residence at two locations. Lugné-Poe staged the first half of the season back at the Comédie-Parisienne, with a line-up that included Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved , Kālidāsa's The Ring of Shakuntalā , and Oscar Wilde's Salome . The second half, however, starting in March 1896, began over two-years' residency for the Théâtre de l'Œuvre at Nouveau-Théâtre. Most notably, they premiered Ibsen's Pillars of Society (22-23 June 1896) and Peer Gynt (11-12 November 1896); Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (9-10 December 1896); Bjørnson's sequel to Beyond Human Power (25-26 January 1897); Hauptmann's fairy drama The Sunken Bell (4-5 March 1897); Bataille's Your Blood (7-8 May 1897); Ibsen's Love's Comedy (22-23 June 1897) and John Gabriel Borkman (8-9 November 1897); Nikolai Gogol's The Inspector General (7-8 January 1898); and Romain Rolland's Aert (2-3 May 1898) and The Wolves (18 May 1898). For their last season, the Théâtre de l'Œuvre gave two undistinguished premieres—Paul Sonniès' Fausta (15-16 May 1899) and Lucien Mayrargue's The Yoke (5-6 June 1899)—preferring to hold the much anticipated revival of An Enemy of the People at the grander Théâtre de la Renaissance in February. Lugné-Poe's last productions for the company were done at the very theatre where the Théâtre de l'Œuvre had begun in 1893 with Pelléas et Mélisande: the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens. Lugné-Poe had successfully established the Nouveau-Théâtre as the site for daring, challenging, and at times outrageous modern drama.
In 1906, the actress Gabrielle Réjane bought the theater, renovated it and gave it a new name, the Théâtre Réjane. She produced among other works the French premiere of Maeterlinck's L'oiseau bleu in 1911 and successfully played her signature role of Madame Sans-Gêne by Victorien Sardou at the theatre.
The producer Léon Volterra bought the hall in 1918, and on 12 August 1919, he inaugurated the Théâtre de Paris, Réjane having stipulated in the sales contract that the theater could not retain her name. Volterra ran the theatre until 1948, when it was taken over by Marcel Karsenty and the comedian Pierre Dux. The actress and director Elvira Popescu took over in 1955 along with Hubert de Mallet, managing it for ten years, before she left to the Théâtre Marigny.
Under Alain de Leseleuc (1965–1975) and Robert Hossein (1975–1990) the theatre specialized in musical works, particularly Offenbach operettas and opéras-bouffes, such as La Périchole directed by Maurice Lehmann, La belle Hélène directed by Jérôme Savary, and Le pont des soupirs directed by Jean-Michel Ribes. It also produced musicals like Starmania and Cats .
Since January 2002, Stéphane Hillel has been artistic director of both theatres.
Elvira Popescu created a second venue with 300 seats, converted from costume workshops, which she first called the Théâtre Moderne before renaming it the Petit Théâtre de Paris. Today this second performance space bears the name "Salle Réjane."
(Notable premieres at Nouveau-Théâtre, presented by Lugné-Poe's Théâtre de l'Œuvre)
Jules-Jean-Paul Fort was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. At the age of 18, reacting against the Naturalistic theatre, Fort founded the Théâtre d'Art (1890–93). He also founded and edited the literary reviews Livre d'Art with Alfred Jarry and Vers et Prose (1905–14) with poet Guillaume Apollinaire, which published the work of Paul Valéry and other important Symbolist writers. Fort is notable for his enormous volume of poetry, having published more than thirty volumes of ballads and, according to Amy Lowell, for creating the polyphonic prose form in his 'Ballades francaises'.
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts seeking to represent absolute truths symbolically through metaphorical images and language mainly as a reaction against naturalism and realism.
This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1896.
Gabrielle Réjane, néeGabrielle Charlotte Réju, was a French actress of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Aurélien-Marie Lugné, known by his stage and pen name Lugné-Poe, was a French actor, theatre director, and scenic designer. He founded the landmark Paris theatre company, the Théâtre de l'Œuvre, which produced experimental work by French Symbolist writers and painters at the end of the nineteenth century. Like his contemporary, theatre pioneer André Antoine, he gave the French premieres of works by the leading Scandinavian playwrights Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
Pelléas and Mélisande is a Symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck about the forbidden, doomed love of the title characters. It was first performed in 1893.
Gerda Carola Cecilia Lundequist was a Swedish stage actress, an Ibsen and Strindberg-thespian that in her time was known throughout Scandinavia as "The Swedish Sarah Bernhardt".
Intruder is a one-act play by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, which appeared first in publication in 1890. Journalistic appreciations of the text throughout that year prompted Parisian independent theatre producers to get the performance rights. From its stage debut the following spring, it became identified as a landmark work in the Symbolism movement of the late-nineteenth century.
Events from the year 1896 in France.
The Théâtre du Vaudeville was a theatre in Paris. It opened on 12 January 1792 on rue de Chartres. Its directors, Piis and Barré, mainly put on "petites pièces mêlées de couplets sur des airs connus", including vaudevilles.
The Independent Theatre Society was a by-subscription-only organisation in London from 1891 to 1897, founded by Dutch drama critic Jacob Grein to give "special performances of plays which have a literary and artistic rather than a commercial value." The society was inspired by its continental forerunners, the Théâtre-Libre and Die Freie Bühne. The Society produced modern realist plays, mostly by continental European playwrights, on the London stage.
Creditors is a naturalistic tragicomedy by the Swedish playwright August Strindberg. It was written in Swedish during August and September 1888 in Denmark. It was first published in Danish in February 1889 and appeared in Swedish in 1890. It premiered at the Dagmar Theatre in Copenhagen in March 1889. It is seen as one of Strindberg's most powerful plays. Strindberg himself, writing in 1892, described it as his "most mature work."
The Théâtre de l'Athénée is a theatre at 7 rue Boudreau, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Renovated in 1996 and classified a historical monument, the Athénée inherits an artistic tradition marked by the figure of Louis Jouvet who directed the theatre from 1934 to 1951. During the period when he was director, it became known as the Athenée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet.
The Théâtre de l'Œuvre is a Paris theatre on the Right Bank, located at 3, Cité Monthiers, entrance 55, rue de Clichy, in the 9° arrondissement. It is commonly conflated and confused with the late-nineteenth-century theater company named Théâtre de l'Œuvre, founded by actor-director-producer Aurélien Lugné-Poe, who would not take control of this performance space until 1919. His company is best known for its earlier phase of existence, before it acquired this theatre venue. From 1893 to 1899, in various Parisian theatres, Lugné-Poe premiered modernist plays by foreign dramatists, as well as new work by French Symbolists, most notoriously Alfred Jarry’s nihilistic farce Ubu Roi, which opened in 1896 at Nouveau-Théâtre.
Alfred 'Savoir' Poznański was a French Jewish comedy playwright of Polish Jewish origin.
René Max Weill, who used the pseudonym Romain Coolus, was a French novelist, dramatist and film scriptwriter.
Jean Sarment, real name Jean Bellemère, was a French film and stage actor and a writer. He was nominated administrator of the Comédie-Française in July 1944 although he won't occupy the position.
The Théâtre Fémina or Salle Fémina was an entertainment venue located at 90 avenue des Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It was inside the Hôtel Fémina, designed by the architect Henri Petit.
Louis Jean Péricaud was a 19th-century French stage actor, chansonnier, playwright, theatre historian and theatre director.
Berthe Bady was a French actress of Belgian origin. She was the companion of Lugné-Poe and Henry Bataille. The fortunes she had won as an actress were devoted to her household with Bataille. Berthe died in isolation at Jouy-sur-Eure.