Roger Planchon

Definition

Theater

  • (1931 - 2009) French actor, director, and dramatist,who had formed his own company before he reached the age of twenty.The company, which lived and worked as a commune, built its own theater,where Planchon produced plays ranging from the classical to the avant-garde.In particular, he championed the work of Adamov and Brecht.In 1954 he met Brecht and subsequently became the leading French directorof his plays.

    The company was invited, in 1957, to take over the Théâtrede la Cité, a huge municipal theater at Villeurbanne, an industrialsuburb of Lyons. At Villeurbanne, Planchon managed to build up a substantialworking-class audience, for which he directed mainly Marxist interpretationsof classical plays, including works by Shakespeare, Marivaux, Molière,and Jonson. Following a successful production in Paris in 1961 thecompany was given a government grant, making it the first provincialtheater to receive a government subsidy.

    Planchon himself wrote a number of dramas, many of which he also directed and performed in; his most notable plays are probably La remise(1962), Dans le vent (1968), and Gilles de Rais (1976). In 1972, following the closure of Jean Vilar's theater at Chaillot, Planchon inherited the name Théâtre National Populaire for his theater at Villeurbanne. His later productions included Marivaux's The Triumph of Love (1998), Pinter's Celebration (2005), and his own updated version of Oedipus at Colonus (2007). He also wrote and directed for the cinema.

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