Théâtre de l'Europe



  • An organization established in 1983 by the European Parliament atthe urging of the Italian director Giorgio Strehler, directorof the Piccolo Teatro della Città di Milano. Strehler was appointedhead of the new body, which was given the Odéon Theatrein Paris as a permanent home (see Odéon, ThéâtreNational de l').

    The Théâtre de l'Europe was established as a symbol of Europe's common cultural heritage. Major theater companies from the member states of the EU contribute productions, which tour the larger cities of Europe and overseas. The Théâtre's first offering was a production of The Tempest, directed by Strehler himself, which eventually touredas far as the Olympic Art Festival in Los Angeles. The director wongreat praise for turning Shakespeare's play into a story about thetheater, transforming the character of Prospero into a director-magicianwho creates all the characters and the dramatic illusions of the storm,etc. Strehler's subsequent productions for the Théâtrede l'Europe included works by Strindberg, Corneille, and Lessing.

    In 1990 the original concept of the Théâtre de l'Europewas given new institutional form in the Union des Théâtres de l'Europe (UTE), an alliance of publicly supported theater companies from across the continent. There are currently 23 members, includingBritain's Royal Shakespeare Company. Its functions include sponsoring internationaltheater festivals, coproductions, and translation work.