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The Théâtre du Gymnase or Théâtre du Gymnase Marie Bell, is a theatre in Paris, at 38 Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle in the 10th arrondissement (métro : Bonne Nouvelle).
Inaugurated on December 23, 1820 by Delestre-Poirson, the théâtre du Gymnase came to serve as a training-theatre for students of the conservatoire, where they could appear solely in one-act plays or adaptations of longer plays into one-act plays.
Poirson quickly added two-act plays to the theatre's repertoire, then 3-act plays, and drew up an exclusive contract with Eugène Scribe to supply them. He installed gas lighting in 1823 and in the following year, with the permission of the duchesse de Berry, the theatre was granted the title of théâtre de Madame.
Closed for renovation in 1830, the theatre reopened after the July Revolution under the name Gymnase Dramatique.
In 1844, Montigny took over as director of the theatre, and to attract a wider audience abandoned somewhat the moral and edifying pieces the theatre had previously specialised in, in favour of the then-fashionable sentimental genre, with its "compromising situations, cold turpitudes, calculated affronts, sobs and agonies". The theatre's playwrights included Balzac, Émile Augier, Georges Sand, Edmond About, Victorien Sardou, Octave Feuillet, Meilhac and Halévy, and Alexandre Dumas (both father and son).
In 1926, the playwright Henri Bernstein became theatre director and there put on his most famous works - Samson, La Rafaie, La Galerie des Glaces, Mélo , Le Bonheur and Le Messager.
Since 1939, the Gymnase has produced several works by Marcel Pagnol, Jean Cocteau, Marc-Gilbert Sauvajon, Sacha Guitry, Félicien Marceau and Jean Genet. The tragic actress Marie Bell took over as the theatre's director in 1962, and starred in a particularly famous production of Racine's Phèdre there.
In 2014, French baritone David Serero performed his One Man Show for six months.
Bonne Nouvelle is a station on Line 8 and Line 9 of the Paris Métro. The section of both lines from just east of Richelieu – Drouot to west of République was built under the Grand Boulevards, which replaced the Louis XIII wall and is in soft ground, which was once the course of the Seine. The lines are built on two levels, with line 8 on the higher level and line 9 in the lower level. The platforms are at the sides and the box containing the lines and supporting the road above is strengthened by a central wall between the tracks. There is no interconnection between the lines at Bonne Nouvelle, with each level having different accesses to the street.
Jean-Nicolas Bouilly was a French playwright, librettist, children's writer, and politician of the French Revolution. He is best known for writing a libretto, supposedly based on a true story, about a woman who disguises herself as a man to rescue her husband from prison, which formed the basis of Beethoven's opera Fidelio as well as a number of other operas.
Marie Bell, born Marie-Jeanne Bellon, was a French tragedian, comic actor and stage director. She was the director of the Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris from 1962 onwards, and this theatre now bears her name.
Jean-François Alfred Bayard was a French playwright. He was the nephew of fellow playwright Eugène Scribe.
Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson, known as Delestre-Poirson was a French playwright and theatre director.
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Jean-Baptiste Augier called Joanny Augier, was a 19th-century French playwright and journalist.