- Category : 1885-births
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (21,22,51)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Duality 1
French theatre director who in 1927 was one of the cofounders of 'Le Cartel des quatre' theatrical group along with Charles Dullin, Louis Jouvet, and Georges Pitoëff.
In 1919, he assisted Firmin Gémier at the Cirque d'hiver de Paris, and began to stage plays (set and direction) in 1921, with L’Annonce faite à Marie by Paul Claudel and the pacifist play La Grande Boucherie by René Iché. He then created the group Compagnons de la Chimère (1921), who worked in a wooden barracks he built at 143 boulevard Saint-Germain (Paris 6th arr.), near Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the "Baraque de la Chimère."
At the request of Jacques Hébertot he directed the Studio des Champs-Élysées from 28 March 1924 to 14 April 1928, then the Théâtre de l'Avenue the following season. In 1930, he took over as head of the Théâtre Montparnasse, then the Théâtre Libre of André Antoine, and left it in 1942 under the direction of Marguerite Jamois, while still working there until 1947. In 1936 he took part in the modernization of the French comedy.
Influenced by the German theatre he had discovered in his youth and the expressionist movement, he was also a theorist of the theatre. In 1920 he wrote Vérités premières et paradoxales sur l’art du théâtre et fonda (Truths and Paradoxes on the Art of the Theatre). He also published Vie de l’art théâtral des origines à nos jours (1932) and Le Metteur en scène (1944).
At the beginning of the German occupation, he played an important role with Charles Dullin and Pierre Renoir as heads of the Association of Paris Theatre Directors, created in October 1940 under German leadership. They submitted their resignation in November 1941.
In Aix-en-Provence, he launched a Puppet House project, and in 1950 he created the Comédie de Provence, which became the national drama centre in 1952.
He died on 13 October 1952, aged 67.