Louis Jouvet

Definition

Theater

  • (1887 - 1951) French actor, director, designer, and stagetechnician, responsible for staging the first plays of both Giraudouxand Genet. Jouvet made his Paris debut in an adaptation ofThe Brothers Karamazov (1910), before joining Jacques Copeau'scompany at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier. In about 1920he remodelled the stage there to resemble the acting area in an Elizabethanplayhouse.

    In 1922 Jouvet became director of the Comédie des Champs-élysées,where he enjoyed a major success with Dr Knock (1923); he subsequentlystarred in both the 1933 film version and the 1950 remake. Five yearslater Jouvet co-founded the Cartel, an association of fourof the leading actor-managers in France. His direction of Giraudoux'sSiegfried in 1928 led to a long collaboration between the twomen, culminating in Jouvet's production of The Madwoman of Chaillot(1945) after Giraudoux's death. Two years later Jouvet staged Genet'sfirst play, The Maids (1947).

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