Jacques Copeau

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Copeau, Jacques


Born Feb. 4,1879, in Paris; died Oct. 20, 1949, in Beaune, department of Cote d’Or. French stage director, actor, and theater figure.

Copeau studied in the department of language and literature at the Sorbonne and became a literary and dramatic critic. In 1913 he founded the Théâtre de Vieux Colombier in Paris, which he directed until 1924 (he worked in the USA from 1917 to 1919). Copeau presented plays by Moliere (The Miser, 1913, and Les Fourberies de Scapin, 1917), Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, 1914), Goldoni, Gozzi, Gogol, and Merimée, as well as contemporary drama—for example, Remains’ Cromedeyre-le-vieil (1920) and S. S. Tenacity (1920) and Michel Auclair (1922) by Vildrac.

Copeau wanted to create profound, poetic productions, advocated edifying, ethical interpretations of art, and decried the crass mediocrity of the commercial theater. He opened a drama school in 1915. His views on the art of acting and his system of teaching in many ways resembled Stanislavsky’s. His own best performances were in roles that were infused with irony (Jaques in As You Like It by Shakespeare) or intense philosophical in-sight (Ivan Karamazov in his adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov ). Between 1936 and 1940 he worked in the Comédie Françhise.

Copeau was the author of the plays Morning Fog (1897) and Native Home (1924). One of the founders of modern French theater, Copeau influenced such actors as L. Jouvet, C. Dullin, J. Villar, J.-L. Barrault, and A. Barsacq.


Souvenirs du Vieux-Colombier. Paris, 1931.
Notes sur le métier de comedien. Paris, 1955.


Kurtz, M. Jacques Copeau. Paris [1950].
References in periodicals archive ?
En 1913, el frances Jacques Copeau abrio su teatro Vieux-Colombier (El viejo palomar).
After his short engagement at the Theatre des Arts, Dullin joined Jacques Copeau at the Vieux-Colombier in 1913.
No se pasa por alto la estrecha relacion entre Valle, Manuel Azana y Rivas Cherif, ni la admiracion de este ultimo por el ambiente teatral parisino, las avanzadas propuestas escenograficas de Gordon Craig, y, especialmente, el dramaturgo frances Jacques Copeau, que las puso en practica.
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.
Pro Arte publica valiosos articulos sobre los principales directores franceses: Jacques Copeau, Charles Dullin, Louis Jouvet y Jean Louis Barrault, entre otros.
Champion treaded the boards with theater greats Jacques Copeau, Jean Daste, Jean Vilar and Georges Pitoeff before embarking on a film career.
6) Jacques Copeau, 'Le Theatre du Vieux Colombier', Theatre, 354 (1913), 16-20 (p.
Le jeune Legault est fascine par les reussites de la Compagnie du Vieux-Colombier de Jacques Copeau qu'il connait a travers Gheon, dont l'influence sera determinante au Quebec.
It was founded in February 1909 (after a false start in November 1908) by a group that included Andre Gide, Jacques Copeau, and Jean Schlumberger.
The author, in comparing Moliere with followers such as Jacques Copeau, Jean Cocteau, Jean Giraudoux, and Eugene Ionesco, provides convincing solutions to lingering questions about the impromptu: What was its function?
Konstantin Stanislavsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov in Russia; Max Reinhardt, Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht in Germany; Jacques Copeau, Jean-Louis Barrault and Antonin Artaud in France collectively demolished the 19th-century aesthetic and, in their wake, created the modernity that is the hallmark of today's theatre.