Copeau, Jacques

▪ French actor and director
born Feb. 4, 1879, Paris, Fr.
died Oct. 20, 1949, Beaune

      French actor, literary critic, stage director, and dramatic coach who led a reaction against realism in early 20th-century theatre.

      After a brief career as an art dealer, Copeau became drama critic for L'Ermitage (1904–06) and La Grand Revue (1907–10). In 1909, with André Gide, Jean Schlumberger, and others, he founded La Nouvelle Revue Française (Nouvelle Revue française, La) and edited it until 1911. His adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov, written in collaboration with Jean Croué, was staged in 1911.

      In 1913 Copeau founded the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier (Vieux-Colombier, Theatre of the) (from 1961 the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier-Jacques Copeau), where he produced dramatic works ranging from those of William Shakespeare to the 20th-century plays of such writers as Paul Claudel. Seeking to break down the barrier between actor and audience, he redesigned his theatre in 1920 as a reconstruction of the Elizabethan apron stage without the proscenium arch and with simple screens to suggest locale. The atmosphere of each play was created almost entirely by lighting.

      Emphasizing the play rather than its trappings, Copeau concentrated on training actors, and eventually his company ranked with the great Moscow Art Theatre of Konstantin Stanislavsky. In 1917 Copeau took his company to New York City, and in 1924 he left the Vieux-Colombier and moved his school of young actors to Burgundy. There, besides studying acting, they were employed throughout the countryside, the peasants calling them “Les Copiaux,” under which name they first appeared at Basel in 1926. The new company—which toured Europe and had its own playwright, André Obey—was taken over by Michel Saint-Denis in 1930.

      One of Copeau's greatest contributions to the theatre was his idea of a permanent architectural stage for modern productions.

Additional Reading
Maurice Kurtz, Jacques Copeau: Biography of a Theatre (1999).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Copeau, Jacques — (1879 1949)    writer, theater figure    Born in Paris, Jacques Copeau was the founder with andré Gide and jean schlumberger of the Nouvelle Revue française (1909), and soon denounced the commercialism and vulgarism of the theater. With a troop… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Copeau, Jacques — ► (1879 1949) Director y actor teatral. En 1913 fundó el teatro de Vieux Colombier, donde renovó la técnica teatral simplificando e idealizando la representación escénica …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Copeau — Copeau, Jacques …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jacques Copeau — (February 4 1879 ndash; October 20 1949) was an influential French theatre director, producer, actor, and dramatist. Before he founded his famous Théâtre du Vieux Colombier in Paris, he wrote theater reviews for several Parisian journals, worked… …   Wikipedia

  • Jacques Copeau — ( 4 de febrero de 1879, París, Francia 20 de octubre de 1949) fue un relevante actor, productor, teórico, critico y director de teatro francés, fundador del famoso Théâtre du Vieux Colombier y anteriormente de la La Nouvelle Revue Française en… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jacques Copeau — (* 4. Februar 1879 in Paris; † 20. Oktober 1949 in Beaune) war ein französischer Theaterleiter, Schauspieler und Dramatiker. Copeau begann in den 1890er Jahren Komödien zu schreiben, von denen Brouillard du matin 1897 am Nouveau Théâtre… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • copeau — [ kɔpo ] n. m. • 1680; coipel 1213; cospel 1170; lat. pop. °cuspellus, class. cuspis « pointe » ♦ Fragment, mince ruban détaché d une pièce de bois par un instrument tranchant. Copeaux de hêtre, de sapin. Brûler de la sciure et des copeaux. Le «… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jacques Copeau — Jacques Copeau, né à Paris le 4 février 1879, décédé à Beaune le 20 octobre 1949, est une personnalité d importance majeure dans le monde intellectuel et artistique français de la première moitié du XXe siècle,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • COPEAU (J.) — Ce qu’on a appelé la réforme de Jacques Copeau, c’est d’abord le retour délibéré aux sources traditionnelles les plus pures (tragédie grecque, commedia dell’arte, théâtre élisabéthain, etc.); c’est aussi une volonté de resserrer les liens du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jacques Rouche — Jacques Rouché Jacques Rouché est un mécène français né le 16 novembre 1862 à Lunel (France) et mort à Paris le 9 novembre 1957. Patron des parfums Piver, il dirigea également La Grande Revue, le Théâtre des Arts et l’Opéra de Paris. Sommaire 1… …   Wikipédia en Français

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