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Look Inside French Theatre in the Neo-classical Era, 1550–1789

French Theatre in the Neo-classical Era, 1550–1789


Part of Theatre in Europe: A Documentary History

Jan Clarke, Edward Forman, John Golder, William D. Howarth, Michael O'Regan, Christopher Smith
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  • Date Published: June 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521100878

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About the Authors
  • This 1997 book covers the period which saw the establishment in France of a centralized official theatre - not only the Comédie-Française (the first 'national' theatre), but an Italian theatre and a state opera; the often subversive independent theatres are also discussed. Nearly 1,000 documents deal with censorship and other aspects of external control, company management, the acting profession, dramatic theory and criticism, theatre architecture, settings and costumes, audience composition and behaviour. Over 120 pictorial documents - architectural drawings, technical engravings, frontispieces, portraits, etc. - provide a visual dimension where relevant. A full linking narrative and a copious bibliography help to make this an important reference work and a valuable research tool.

    • The first book to bring together documents in this era of theatre history
    • Contains rare and valuable photographs
    • Offers the first translation into English of many relevant documents
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'The book is put together by a team of specialists in theatre history. It presents a very complete picture - all the main documents are present, at least in extract. But the beauty of this collection is that it is a serious and comprehensive research tool, which yet leaves the reader's imagination free to roam.' The Times Literary Supplement

    Review of the hardback: 'Vibrant with life and movement, and offering a wealth of factual detail on costs, costumes, scenery, stage design and special effects, and abundant anecdotal evidence about the trials and tribulations of an actor's life, this documentary history will be much appreciated by the teachers and students for whom it is intended.' New Theatre Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521100878
    • length: 764 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 39 mm
    • weight: 1.01kg
    • contains: 129 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of documents
    General editors' preface
    Editor's preface
    Historical references and glossary
    Part I. 1550–1630 Christopher Smith:
    1. Documents of control
    2. Humanist drama
    3. Theatre in Paris
    4. Theatre in the provinces
    5. Theatre at court
    Part II. 1630–80 Edward Forman, Michael O'Regan and William D. Howarth:
    6. Documents of control
    7. Playhouses and companies
    8. Actors and acting
    9. Mise-en-scène and costume
    10. Audiences
    11. Authors and their critics
    Part III. 1680–1715 Jan Clarke
    12. Documents of control
    13. Company documents
    14. Playhouses
    15. The play in rehearsal and performance
    16. Audiences
    17. Provincial and amateur theatre
    18. The morality debate
    Part IV. 1715–91 John Golder and William D. Howarth:
    19. Documents of control
    20. Company administration
    21. Theatre architecture
    22. Stage presentation
    23. Actors and acting
    24. Audiences, critics and the eighteenth-century repertoire
    25. Censorship and the morality debate
    26. Independent, provincial and private theatres
    27. Actors and authors
    the end of the ancien régime

  • Editor

    William D. Howarth, University of Bristol


    Jan Clarke, Edward Forman, John Golder, William D. Howarth, Michael O'Regan, Christopher Smith

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