- A number of theater companies set up in the French provincesafter 1945 under a government-sponsored scheme known as DécentralisationDramatique. The first centres were opened in 1947 in Strasbourgand St-étienne. Some of the leading companies have been JeanDasté's Comédie de St-étienne, the Comédiede l'Ouest based in Rennes, the Compagnie de Caen, and the Grenierde Toulouse, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1969 by movinginto a new theater in the city.
The establishment of regional theater centres gave a muchneeded boost to provincial drama in France. The companies are usuallybased in university towns and draw talent from local amateur groups.They tour the region and perform classic French plays as well as contemporaryand foreign works. Although the Centres Dramatiques have made a significantimpact on the nation's theater, modern French dramatists prefer toopen in Paris and new plays are seldom performed in the regions.