Théâtre de l'Œuvre c. 2010
|Address||55 rue de Clichy, 9° arrondissement|
The Théâtre de l'Œuvre is a Paris theatre, located atop cité Monthiers, at 55 rue de Clichy in the 9° arrondissement in Paris, France. It is best known as the theatre where Alfred Jarry’s nihilistic farce Ubu Roi premiered in 1896.
Alfred Jarry was a French symbolist writer who is best known for his play Ubu Roi (1896), a pataphysical work which depicts the bourgeoisie as the super-mediocre. He coined the term and philosophical concept of pataphysics, which uses absurd irony to portray symbolic truths.
Ubu Roi is a play by Alfred Jarry. It was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Œuvre, causing a riotous response in the audience as it opened and closed on December 10, 1896. It is considered a wild, bizarre and comic play, significant for the way it overturns cultural rules, norms, and conventions. To some of those who were in the audience on opening night, including W. B. Yeats and the poet and essayist Catulle Mendès, it seemed an event of revolutionary importance, but many were mystified and outraged by the seeming childishness, obscenity, and disrespect of the piece. It is now seen by some to have opened the door for what became known as modernism in the twentieth century. It is a precursor to Dada, Surrealism and the Theatre of the Absurd. It is the first of three stylised burlesques in which Jarry satirises power, greed, and their evil practices—in particular the propensity of the complacent bourgeoisie to abuse the authority engendered by success.
Founded in Paris in 1893, the Théâtre de l'Œuvre was among the first theatrical venues in France to provide a home for the artists of the Symbolist Movement at the end of the nineteenth century. Modeled on the experimental structure of the Théâtre Libre, the venue was directed by Lugné-Poe,a prominent Parisian actor and stage manager from its opening through 1929.
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts.
The Théâtre Libre was a theatre company that operated from 1887 to 1896 in Paris, France.
Aurélien-Marie Lugné, known by his stage-name and pen name Lugné-Poe, was a French actor, theatre director, and scenic designer best known for his work at the Théâtre de l'Œuvre, one of the first theatrical venues in France to provide a home for the artists of the symbolist movement at the end of the nineteenth century. Most notably, Lugné-Poe introduced French audiences to the Scandinavian playwrights August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.
Lugné-Poe had embraced symbolism's "subjectivity, spirituality, and mysterious internal and external forces"as a source of profound truth after working as an actor at the Théâtre d'Art. The first of the independent Symbolist theatre, the poet Paul Fort, then just seventeen years old, formed the company to explore the performance potential of found texts such as The Iliad , The Bible , and his own lyric verse. When Fort left the group in 1892, his work was carried on by what would become the Théâtre de l'Œuvre with Lugné-Poe at the helm.
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'.
Unlike Fort's project which catered to the intellectual elite, Lugné-Poe sought to create a "theatre for the people," and customarily offered free tickets to most of the public, reserving only 100 seats for his subscription holders. Under his direction, the company first performed Maurice Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande on May 17, 1892. According to theatre historian Oscar Brockett:
Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck, also known as CountMaeterlinck from 1932, was a Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist who was Flemish but wrote in French. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911 "in appreciation of his many-sided literary activities, and especially of his dramatic works, which are distinguished by a wealth of imagination and by a poetic fancy, which reveals, sometimes in the guise of a fairy tale, a deep inspiration, while in a mysterious way they appeal to the readers' own feelings and stimulate their imaginations". The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. His plays form an important part of the Symbolist movement.
|“||The opening production, Maeterlink's Pelléas and Mélisande, was typical. Few properties and little furniture were used; the stage was lighted from overhead and most of the action passed in semidarkness; a gauze curtain, hung between the actors and the audience, gave the impression that mist enveloped the stage; backdrops, painted in gray tones, emphasized the air of mystery; costumes were vaguely medieval, although the intention was to create draperies of no particular period. The actors spoke in a staccato chant like priests and, according to some critics, behaved like sleepwalkers; their gestures were strongly stylized. Given this radically new approach, it is not surprising that many spectators were mystified.||”|
With the help of poet and critic Camille Mauclair and the painter Édouard Vuillard (with whom Lugné-Poe was sharing an apartment), the director dedicated the theatre to presenting the work of the young French Symbolist playwrights in addition to introducing new foreign dramas. The group established themselves that same year, renting a small room atop the cité Monthiers called the salle Berlioz and calling themselves Maison de l'Œuvre, or literally, the "House of Works."
Séverin Faust, better known by his pseudonym Camille Mauclair, was a French poet, novelist, biographer, travel writer, and art critic.
Jean-Édouard Vuillard was a French painter, decorative artist and printmaker. From 1891 through 1900, he was a prominent member of the Nabis, making paintings which assembled areas of pure color, and interior scenes, influenced by Japanese prints, where the subjects were blended into colors and patterns. He also was a decorative artist, painting theater sets, panels for interior decoration, and designing plates and stained glass. After 1900, when the Nabis broke up, he adopted a more realistic style, painting landscapes and interiors with lavish detail and vivid colors. In the 1920s and 1930s he painted portraits of prominent figures in French industry and the arts in their familiar settings.
In addition to those of Maeterlinck, the theatre also produced Sanskrit dramas in addition to works by foreign authors such as Oscar Wilde, Gerhart Hauptmann, August Strindberg, and Gabriele D’Annunzio, alongside works by young French dramatists like Henry Bataille, Henri de Régnier et Alfred Jarry. Lugné-Poe was also instrumental in introducing Henrik Ibsen’s plays to French audiences.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, the early 1890s saw him become one of the most popular playwrights in London. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for "gross indecency", imprisonment, and early death at age 46.
Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann was a German dramatist and novelist. He is counted among the most important promoters of literary naturalism, though he integrated other styles into his work as well. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1912.
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over sixty plays and more than thirty works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. A bold experimenter and iconoclast throughout, he explored a wide range of dramatic methods and purposes, from naturalistic tragedy, monodrama, and history plays, to his anticipations of expressionist and surrealist dramatic techniques. From his earliest work, Strindberg developed innovative forms of dramatic action, language, and visual composition. He is considered the "father" of modern Swedish literature and his The Red Room (1879) has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel.
Just as in the description of the theatre's initial performance, the majority Lugné-Poe's stage settings were simple, non-realistic representations of line and color on canvas backdrops. He sought to create a theatre of poetry and dreams while staying true to his motto, "The word creates the decor."The staging was atmospheric and the acting stylized; costumes were usually simple and “timeless.” Some designers included Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Denis, Odilon Redon, Pierre Bonnard, and Vuillard himself.
On December 10, 1896, Théâtre de l'Œuvre presented Alfred Jarry's legendary Ubu Roi, with actor Firmin Gémier in the title role. Jarry had finished this epochal play about human greed, cowardice, and stupidity just six months before it would shock the audiences with its unapologetic opening line, "Merdre." Though Jarry affected an attitude of political indifference, his revolutionary ideas challenged assumptions about society, propriety, and existence. Brockett notes that "Ubu Roi shows in all its grotesqueness a world without human decency."In this lithograph announcement by Jarry for the performance of Ubu Roi, King Ubu appears as a shadow puppet with a segmented arm. He brandishes a scimitar in one hand and clutches a sack of gold in the other.
By 1899 the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre had presented 51 programs and toured England, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium. In spite of this success, Lugné-Poe had come to feel that the work of the Symbolists was juvenile and limiting to his artistic development. He closed the theatre in 1899, marking an end to the first major phase of the anti-realism movement in the theatre.
Lugné-Poe revived the theatre December 22, 1912 with a production of Paul Claudel's L'Annonce faite à Marie. Following that were several works by the Dadaist and Surrealist writers of the era. The group was off to a running start, but activity was interrupted again with the beginning of World War I in 1914. They reopened again in 1919 with the help of financing from the actor Marcelle Frappa and ran the theatre continuously until his final retirement in 1929. Through their productions, tours, and critical reviews the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, under the direction of Lugné-Poe, had managed to influence "almost every departure from realism between 1893 and 1915."
Lucien Beer and Paulette Pax succeeded Lugné-Poe in 1929 and served as the theatre's directors until the beginning of World War II. Shortly after the conflict began, Hitler conquered France and the Vichy Regime under Jacques Hébertot made most theatres illegal in the occupied zone. After the Liberation of Paris in 1944, Raymond Rouleau rejoined Lucien Beer, and together they ran the theatre until 1951, when they were both replaced by Robert de Ribon.
In 1960 Pierre Franck and Georges Herbert took over direction. They ran the theatre until 1978, when they were replaced by Georges Wilson as Artistic Director and principal scenic designer. He remained until 1995 when Gérard Maro, who had been Artistic Director of the Comédie de Paris since 1981 took over as chef of the Théâtre de l'Œuvre. He is still in charge today.
Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. Though his work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1944 play Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles' classical drama, that was seen as an attack on Marshal Pétain's Vichy government. One of France's most prolific writers after World War II, much of Anouilh's work deals with themes of maintaining integrity in a world of moral compromise.
The Molière Award recognises achievement in live French theatre and is the national theatre award of France. The awards are presented and decided by the Association professionnelle et artistique du théâtre (APAT) and supported by the French Ministry of Culture at an annual ceremony, called the Nuit des Molières in Paris. The awards are given for French productions and performances.
Théâtre Hébertot is a theatre at 78, boulevard des Batignolles, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, France. The theatre, completed in 1838 and opening as the Théâtre des Batignolles, was later renamed Théâtre des Arts in 1907. It acquired its present name in 1940 after playwright and journalist Jacques Hébertot.
Lucienne Bogaert was a French actress. She started her career in theatre, but later also worked in film. After she divorced her husband Robert Bogaert, she retained his name for professional purposes.
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.
Jean Le Poulain was a French stage actor and stage director.
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 Prix du Brigadier, established in 1960 by the Association de la Régie théâtrale (ART), is an award given to a personality from the world of theater.
Albert Rieux was a French stage and film actor.
Paulette Pax was a French actress, theatre director and scenographe.
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.
René Clermont was a 20th-century French stage and film actor as well as a playwright.
Jean-Paul Moulinot was a French actor, sociétaire of the Comédie-Française.
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.
Alain Mottet was a French actor.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Théâtre de l'Œuvre .|