World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Illustre Théâtre

Article Id: WHEBN0021003784
Reproduction Date:

Title: Illustre Théâtre  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Molière, François Louis, Prince of Conti, Madeleine Béjart, Molière's company
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Illustre Théâtre

The Illustre Théâtre was a French theatre company set up by Molière on 30 June 1643, and shut down less than two years later on his imprisonment in August 1645. However, it is notable for its impact on the history of the French theatre. It was succeeded by la Troupe de Molière.


By an act of association signed on 30 June 1643, before the notaries Mes Duchesne and Fieffé, the troupe was set up by the following signatories:

  • Denis Beys
  • Germain Clérin, known as Villabé
  • Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (not yet known as Molière)
  • Joseph Béjart
  • Nicolas Bonenfant, known as Croisac
  • Georges Pinel, known as La Couture
  • Madeleine Béjart - who was, by the act, accorded the privilege "to choose whichever rôle she likes"
  • Madeleine Malingre
  • Catherine Des Urlis
  • Geneviève Béjart, known as Mlle Hervé.

The new troupe set up at first at the Perle dive, rue de la Perle in Paris. Some months later, it moved to Rouen where an eleventh member, Catherine Bourgeois, was added, some of the original, like Bonenfant, having stayed in Paris.

Having won the protection of the duc d'Orléans, the new troupe returned to Paris and took up residence at the jeu de paume des Métayers, 13 rue de Seine, where they opened on 1 January 1644 playing tragedy. Receipts were low and their protector left for the war. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, who signed himself Molière from 28 June, was obliged to borrow. They had to leave and moved to the jeu de paume de la Croix-Noire, rue des Barrés, in December of the same year. Unable to repay his multiple creditors, Molière was imprisoned in August 1645 : after less than two years of existence, the Illustre Théâtre had finally failed, but it had made a mark on the history of theatre.

Contract of 30 June 1643

20th century homages

  • The theatre in Pézenas is called Illustre Théâtre, in homage to Molière who crossed the Languedoc between 1647 and 1657, and stayed in Pézenas in 1650-1651, during the Estates of Languedoc.
  • The metteur en scène Jean-Marie Villégier named his company the 'Illustre Théâtre in reference to Molière : « On sait par exemple qu'il a joué Corneille, Tristan L'Hermite, Rotrou. Mon idée était de travailler ce répertoire, tel que l'a trouvé Molière avant de devenir l'écrivain que l'on connaît. » ("We know, for example, that he played Corneille, Tristan L'Hermite, Rotrou. My idea was to work this repertoire, as Molière found it before becoming the writer that we know.")

External links

  • L'illustre theatre in Pézenas
  • Compagnie Jean-Marie Villégier
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.