Vilar, Jean

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
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