Théâtre Libre

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Théâtre Libre

(tāät`rə lēb`rə), French theatrical company founded in Paris in 1887 by André AntoineAntoine, André
, 1858–1943, French theatrical director, manager, and critic. In opposition to the teachings of the Paris Conservatory, he formed (1887) his own company, the Théâtre Libre.
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. Inspired by the work of the Meiningen PlayersMeiningen Players,
German theatrical company that toured Europe from 1874 to 1890. The group, inspiring theatrical reforms wherever it performed, was a major influence in the movement toward modern theater.
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, Antoine's theater became a showcase for naturalist drama. Plays of Zola, Becque, Brieux, and of contemporary German, Scandinavian, and Russian masters were produced. The Théâtre Libre became a model for experimental theaters throughout Europe and the United States.


See S. M. Waxman, Antoine and the Théâtre-Libre (1926).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Théâtre Libre


a French drama theater founded in Paris in 1887 by the director A. Antoine, who headed it until it closed in 1896.

Europe’s first noncommercial theater, the Theatre Libre helped popularize works by contemporary French and foreign playwrights and produced plays not allowed in state-subsidized theaters. Its productions of L. N. Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness (1888) and Hauptmann’s The Weavers (1893) were important events in the Parisian theater. Many plays by H. Ibsen, B. Bjørnsen, G. Verga, A. Strindberg, and I. S. Turgenev had their French premier on its stage. The Theatre Libre served as a model for other theaters in France, as well as in Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, and other countries.


Gvozdev, A. A. Zapadno-evropeiskii teatr. Leningrad-Moscow, 1939.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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