Théâtre de la Renaissance



  • The first theater of this name opened in Paris in 1826 as theSalle Ventadour. Amongst the works staged there were plays by VictorHugo and the elder Dumas. In 1838 the theater enjoyed anenormous success with Hugo's Ruy Blas, but its fortunes beganto decline soon afterwards and it closed in 1841.

    The second theater to bear the name opened in 1873 on thesite of the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin, which hadburnt down two years earlier. The Renaissance began by staging seriousdramas by such writers as Emile Zola but within a few years had movedto the lighter material of Feydeau and Labiche.In the 1890s the theater came under the management of Sarah Bernhardt,who appeared there in a series of her great classical and modern roles.When Bernhardt left the Renaissance it was taken over by the actor-managerFirmin Gémier (1869 - 1933). In the early 20th centurythe theater was badly hit by the rise of the cinema, although it enjoyeda run of successful revivals in the 1930s. In the mid 1950s the Renaissancewas taken over by the actress Vera Korene, who did much to restorethe building as well as to establish a more contemporary repertoire.