André Antoine

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Antoine, André


Born Jan. 31, 1858, in Limoges; died Oct. 9, 1943, in Pouligneu. French director, actor, and theoretician of the theater.

While working as a clerk in the gas company in Paris, Antoine became involved with an amateur theatrical group (the so-called Cercle Gaulois), which he made his nucleus in organizing the Théâtre Libre in 1887. He worked in the Théâtre Libre until 1894. In 1897 he created the Théâtre Antoine, which he managed until 1906. From 1906 to 1914 he was the director at the Odéon theater. After 1914 he retired from practical work in the theater and worked in the areas of dramatic criticism and film.

In creating the Théâtre Libre, Antoine made a stand against melodrama and philistine dramaturgy. He was an ardent proponent and propagandist for the aesthetic principles of E. Zola. Antoine believed that theater should depict life faithfully, and he staged plays in which the action involved peasants, petite bourgeoisie, and workers. It was to his credit that he also disseminated progressive foreign dramaturgy. He was the first in France to present The Power of Darkness (1888) by L. Tolstoy, Ghosts (1890) and The Wild Duck (1891) by Ibsen, The Boarder (1890) by Turgenev, The Weavers (1893) by Hauptmann, and others. Antoine obtained natural, unadorned performances from his actors; he fought for permanent status for members in the troupe and for a close-knit ensemble of actors. His presentations were distinguished by natural staging, bold for the time. Every personage in the work was endowed with an individual character and given a definite stage task. He employed diverse theatrical devices to help create a lifelike atmosphere on stage.

Antoine’s memoirs of the Théâtre Libre, Théâtre Antoine, and Odéon are valuable documents for the history of the French theater of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; they contain statements of his views on theatrical art and dramaturgy. In 1897, Antoine toured Europe, including Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa), with a group of artists of the Théâtre Libre.


Mes Souvenirs sur le Théâtre Libre. Paris, 1921.
Mes Souvenirs sur le Théâtre Antoine et sur l’Odéon. Paris, 1928.
In Russian translation:
Dnevniki direktora teatra. General editor, A. A. Gvozdev. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939. (Abridged.)


Movshenson, A. “Vstup. stat’ia.” A. Antoine. Dnevniki direktora teatra. (Abridged translation from French.) Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Gvozdev, A. A. Zapadnoevropeiskii teatr na rubezhe XIX i XX stoletii: Ocherki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Kovatchévitch, M. La Vie, I’oeuvre, I’influence et le prestige de André Antoine.... Clermont-Ferrand-Paris, 1941.
References in periodicals archive ?
The adaptation was first produced by Andre Antoine at the Theatre National de L'Odeon on January 30, 1908.
The production of L'Avare chinois was hailed as a great success not only for Gautier but also for the Odeon, its director Andre Antoine, and its players.
As the director of the production, Andre Antoine "took pleasure in presenting with very particular care this curious comedy.
59) Copeau, Andre Antoine, Paul Ginisty, and other French viewers were equally impressed by the Japanese actor's complete control of his body and by the eloquence and expressiveness embodied in his acting, in his facial expressions, in his gestures, and even in his immobility and silence.
However, Andre Antoine, the Wallonia budget minister, claimed that Ryanair makes large profits and a EUR3 levy on airfares from the region would not hit traffic.
of California, Irvine) examines the ideas and theories of Andre Antoine, Jacques Copeau, Michel Saint-Denis, Elia Kazan, Uta Hagen, David Mamet, Anne Bogart, and Keith Johnstone.
Transport minister Andre Antoine confirmed the plans and also restated that the airport would like to reduce Ryanair's dominant position at Charleroi.
I am surprised by their attitude today because we have a fertile and successful relationship with Ryanair," Walloon transport minister Andre Antoine said.
Shortly after Wilde's arrival in France, Loti contacted the innovative French theatre producer Andre Antoine and informed him that he had just found in some old family letters material that he wanted to turn into a play.
Andre Antoine, the innovative director who produced Judith Renaudin, had built his reputation on presenting serious literary drama, often with a social conscience.
The request, by French transport minister Andre Antoine, was received by Ryanair officials in Dublin last Friday but the carrier is insisting it won't offer a response until it receives an English translation.
Andre Antoine, minister in charge of airports for the Walloon region, said he would write to the airline's management to remind them of their obligations.