Théâtre de l'Athénée

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Théâtre de l'Athénée
  • Comédie-Parisienne (1894) [1]
  • Athénée-Comique (1896) [2]
  • Comédie-Parisienne (1898) [1]
  • Théâtre de l'Athénée (1899) [3]
  • Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet (1934) [4]
Theatre Athenee-Jouvet.JPG
Exterior of the Théâtre de l'Athénée
Coordinates 48°52′19″N2°19′44″E / 48.87191°N 2.329°E / 48.87191; 2.329 Coordinates: 48°52′19″N2°19′44″E / 48.87191°N 2.329°E / 48.87191; 2.329
  • main theatre: 570
  • small theatre: 91
Opened31 December 1894

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.

9th arrondissement of Paris French municipal arrondissement in Île-de-France, France

The 9th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France.

Louis Jouvet French actor

Jules Eugène Louis Jouvet was a French actor, director, and theatre director.



The current Théâtre de l'Athénée was constructed from a foyer (part of the former Éden-Théâtre), which was converted into an intimate theatre in 1893 by the architect Stanislas Loison with further modifications carried out by the architect Paul Fouquiau in 1894. [5] It opened on 31 December 1894 under the name Théâtre de la Comédie-Parisienne. [1]

Éden-Théâtre former theatre and cinema in rue Boudreau, Paris, France

The Éden-Théâtre was a large theatre in the rue Boudreau, Paris, built at the beginning of the 1880s by the architects William Klein and Albert Duclos (1842–1896) in a style influenced by orientalism. It was demolished in 1895.

Oscar Wilde's play Salomé (originally written in French) was premiered there on 11 February 1896 in a staging by Lugné-Poe's theatre group, the Théâtre de l'Œuvre. [6] The location had become rather unsafe, as demolition work on the Éden-Théâtre was in progress all around it. The police considered banning the performances due to the risk of fire or accident. Their concerns were somewhat reduced by the construction of a temporary 12-meter-long passageway from the theatre to the rue Boudreau. [7]

Lugné-Poe actor and director

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.

Théâtre de lŒuvre theatre and concert hall in Paris, France

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.

Later that year the construction work on the site of the former Éden theatre was finally completed by Fouquiau, and the theatre was reconstituted as the Athénée-Comique, [5] "from the name of a notoriously frivolous, perhaps immoral, establishment nearby that had to close ten years earlier" [see Théâtre de l'Athénée (rue Scribe)]. [8] The theatre was renamed Athénée in 1899. [5] For the first 40 years it was the home of vaudevilles, comedies, and melodramas. [8]

Théâtre de lAthénée (rue Scribe)

Théâtre de l'Athénée or Salle de l'Athénée was the name of a theatre in the basement of a building built in 1865 by the banker Bischoffsheim at 17 rue Scribe in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. The Athénée was initially small, with a capacity of 760 spectators, but was enlarged to 900 places by the addition of a top gallery in 1867. The interior was decorated by Charles Cambon. The venue was used by a variety of companies, including the Théâtre des Fantaisies-Parisiennes (1869), the Théâtre Lyrique (1871–1872), the Théâtre Scribe (1874–1875), and the Athénée-Comique (1876–1883). It closed permanently in 1883.

<i>Comédie en vaudevilles</i> theatrical entertainment which began in Paris towards the end of the 17th century

The comédie en vaudevilles was a theatrical entertainment which began in Paris towards the end of the 17th century, in which comedy was enlivened through lyrics using the melody of popular vaudeville songs.

In 1934 Louis Jouvet took control of the theatre and made it famous. He continued to produce and perform there (not exclusively, however), until his death in 1951. [8] Among the premieres under Jouvet were several plays by Jean Giraudoux, including Tessa (14 November 1934), La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (The Trojan War Will Not Take Place; 21 November 1935), Supplément au voyage de Cook (The Virtuous Island; 21 November 1935), Electre (13 May 1937), L'impromptu de Paris (3 December 1937), Ondine (3 May 1939), and La folle de Chaillot (The Madwoman of Chaillot; 22 December 1945), [9] as well as Marcel Achard's Le corsaire (25 March 1938) [10] and Jean Genet's Les bonnes (The Maids; 19 April 1947). [11] One of Jouvet's most successful revivals was Molière's L'école des femmes (The School for Wives; 9 May 1936; 446 performances, plus another 229 on tour), in which Jouvet performed the role of Arnolphe. [12]

Jean Giraudoux French novelist, essayist, diplomat and playwright

Hippolyte Jean Giraudoux was a French novelist, essayist, diplomat and playwright. He is considered among the most important French dramatists of the period between World War I and World War II. His work is noted for its stylistic elegance and poetic fantasy. Giraudoux's dominant theme is the relationship between man and woman—or in some cases, between man and some unattainable ideal.

Tessa is a play written in 1934 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. It is a translation and adaptation of a 1926 stage version by Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean of the former's 1924 novel The Constant Nymph.

<i>Ondine</i> (play) play by Jean Giraudoux

Ondine is a play written in 1938 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, based on the 1811 novella Undine by the German Romantic Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué that tells the story of Hans and Ondine. Hans is a knight-errant who has been sent off on a quest by his betrothed. In the forest he meets and falls in love with Ondine, a water-sprite who is attracted to the world of mortal man. The subsequent marriage of people from different worlds is, of course, folly. By turns comic, enchanting, and tragic, Ondine is considered by some to be Giraudoux's finest work.

Pierre Renoir, who had been an actor in Jouvet's troupe, was artistic director, briefly, from 1951 until his death the following year.

Pierre Renoir 1885-1952 French actor

Pierre Renoir was a French stage and film actor. He was the son of the impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and elder brother of the film director Jean Renoir. He is also noted for being the first actor to play Georges Simenon's character Inspector Jules Maigret.

In the 2000s the Théâtre Athénée presented revivals of operetta and musical comedy, among which the Brigands company produced Le docteur Ox (2003), Ta Bouche (2004), Toi c'est moi (2005) and Arsène Lupin Banquier (2007). [13]

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  1. 1 2 3 Lecomte 1905, p. 21.
  2. Lecomte 1905, p. 15.
  3. Lecomte 1905, p. 14.
  4. Liebowitz Knapp 1957, p. 283.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Monuments Historiques et Immeubles protégés sur Paris 9e arrondissement". Archived from the original on 3 June 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Originally at ANNUAIRE-MAIRIE.FR.
  6. Bristow 2009, pp. 98, 106, 193.
  7. Tydeman & Price 1996, p. 28.
  8. 1 2 3 Hartnoll 1983, "Athénée, Théâtre d l'", p. 40.
  9. Garreau 1984b, p. 324,
  10. Liebowitz Knapp 1957, p. 285.
  11. Garreau 1984a, p. 253.
  12. Liebowitz Knapp 1957, p. 283–284.
  13. L'encyclopédie multimedia de la comédie musicale théâtrale en France (1918-1940), accessed 9 August 2012