Jouvet, Louis

Jouvet, Louis

(lwē zho͞ovā`), 1887–1951, French actor, producer, and director. A member of Copeau's Théâtre du Vieux Colombier after 1913, he left in 1922 to organize his own theater. He was director of the Comédie des Champs Élysées (1924–34) and from 1934 of the Athénée in Paris. He was the first to produce and act in many of the plays of Giraudoux. Jouvet's simple though powerful stage decors and lighting effects were extremely influential.

Jouvet, Louis

 

Born Dec. 24, 1887, in Crozon; died Aug. 16, 1951, in Paris. French director, actor and teacher.

Jouvet began acting in 1911 at the Théâtre des Arts. In 1913 he joined the Théâtre de Vieux Colombierand was the closest pupil and aide of J. Copeau. During 1922–34 he acted in the Comedie des Champs Elysees (from 1924 he was also its director), and from 1934 until the end of his life (except for 1941–45) he was an actor at L’Athénée. Jouvet’s characterization of Knock (Dr. Knock by Remains)—an acute satire on bourgeois businessmen—became part of the history of French acting. His best roles include Jean (Jean From the Moon by Achard), Don Juan and Tartuffe (Don Juan and Tartuffe by Molière), and Mercury and Hector (Amphitryon 38 and Tiger at the Gates by Giraudoux). Jouvet dealt primarily with modern dramatic works and in his best productions with timely modern subjects—war and peace, national conflicts, and the doom of bourgeois society. He began doing film work in 1913 (Carnival in Flanders, 1935; Un Carnet de Bal, 1937; Hôtel du Nord, 1938; Dr. Knock, 1950). Jouvet was a professor of drama at the Conservatory of Paris.

WORKS

Réflexions du comédien. Paris [1952].
In Russian translation:
Mysli o teatre. Moscow, 1960.

REFERENCE

Knapp, B. L. Louis Jouvet: Man of the Theater. New York, 1957.

E. L. FINKEL’SHTEIN

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