Confrérie de la Passion

Definition

Theater

  • An amateur theater company founded in Paris in 1402 to performreligious plays. It came to exert a virtual control over Parisiandrama for most of the 16th and 17th centuries. The company, who performedworks such as the Acts of the Apostles in a disused halloutside the walls of Paris, were granted a theatrical monopoly inthe city in 1518. This would prove a major obstacle to the expansionof professional theater in Paris.

    By 1748 the company had built a new theater on the ruins ofthe palace of the Dukes of Burgundy; this would become the famousThéâtre de l'Hôtel de Bourgogne. As theywere on the point of moving in, however, the Church finally reactedto the company's sometimes irreverent productions and banned it frompresenting the religious works that formed its traditional repertory.The Confrérie de la Passion stopped producing its own playsin about 1570 and leased the theater to other groups, including Valleran-Lecomte'scompany. It would not allow other companies to settle permanentlyin Paris, however. The Confrérie lost its monopoly in 1675and disbanded a year later.

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