Jean Vilar

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Jean Vilar
BirthplaceSète, Hérault
Actor and director
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vilar, Jean


Born Mar. 25, 1912, in Sete, died there May 28, 1971. French actor and director.

In 1932, Vilar began his studies with C. Dullaine and per-formed in the Atelier Theater in Paris, where he also began his career as a director. In the period 1945-51 he acted and staged plays in various Parisian theaters. From 1951 to 1963 he was a director, actor, and producer at the National Popular Theater in Paris. Vilar developed R. Rolland’s idea of popular theater and believed that the art of the National Popular Theater must be in conformity with the needs of the democratic spectator. Vilar’s theater provided the impetus for a broad movement to establish popular theaters throughout France. Vilar staged mainly the classics of world drama, giving his productions sharply contemporary tone. Among his productions were Shakespeare’s Richard II (1947), in which he played the title role, Büchner’s Danton’s Death (1948), in which he played Robespierre, and Corneille’s Cid (1949), in which he played the king. Other productions and roles were Henry IV (1950, title role), Moliere’s The Miser (1952, Harpagon) and Dom Juan (1953, title role), Balzac’s The Doer (1957, Mercadet), and Brecht’s The Career of Arturo Ui (1960, title role). In 1961, Vilar produced Peace based on the play by Aristophanes. Beginning in 1947 he was permanent director of the drama festivals at Avignon; he appeared in films from 1946.


De la Tradition théâtrale. [Paris, 1965.]
In Russian translation:
O teatral’noi traditsii. Moscow, 1956.


Boiadzhiev, G. Teatral’nyi Parizh segodnia. Moscow, 1960.
Roy, C.Jean Vilar. [Paris, 1968.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
De 1960 a 1961, il franchit les portes du Theatre National Populaire (T.N.P) au Palais de Chaillot pour un autre stage cette fois-ci sous la direction de Jean Vilar. Le parcours de formation ne se limite pas la.
Natural settings, lightweight camera, shoestring budget: with 'La Pointe Courte,' Agnes Varda, the photographer from Jean Vilar's Theatre National Populaire is paving the way for a young cinema, of which she will remain the only female director."
In 1947, in the aftermath of World War II, Jean Vilar (1912-71) founded the Avignon Festival as a contribution to national reconstruction, a response to the urgent imperative to restore France's dignity and rebuild a sense of community.
Varda relates how despondent she was when her photograph of the founder Jean Vilar performing at the Festival D 'Avignon developed partly out of focus.
(1) Les Theatre National Populaire (The Popular National Theatre) managed by stage director Jean Vilar.
Spectacular and expensive productions, such as the 1953 Aida in which Amneris arrived at the Temple of Isis on a floating barque, gave way to the simpler productions of Jean Vilar from 1969 onwards.
Damascus, (SANA) -- Theatrical Platform for the Mediterranean Demonstration is the outcome of a Syrian-French cultural cooperation, represented by the Syrian Ministry of Culture (Directorate of Theaters and Music -- the National Theatre) and Jean Vilar Theatre, Vitry-sur-Seine City in Paris.The demonstration, which lasts till 2013, was first launched during the 15th Damascus Theatre Festival by the Syrian Director and Actor Ramzi Shkair in cooperation with the French Writer Gerard Astor.
"As Jean Vilar, founder of the Avignon theatre festival once said, 'our aim is to organise an event which is elitaire but for everyone'.
Or try the four-star Mercure Cite des Papes, 1 rue Jean Vilar 84000 Avignon, France, They are both on the Place d'Horloge, the centre of town.
Staying there: We stayed at the 3-starHotel Kyriad Avignon - Palais Des Papes,, 26, Place Horloge 84000 Avignon, France +33 4 90 82 21 45; or try the 4-starMercure Cite des Papes, 1 rue Jean Vilar 84000 Avignon, France, both right on the Place d'Horloge, the centre of town, close to city centre restaurants and Palais de Papes.
She makes the link forward to the eventual Theatre National Populaire project, and its champion Jean Vilar (although she ignores the Theatre du Soleil as a successor).