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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Paris, France
Died in Beaune, France  (cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Jacques Copeau was born on February 4, 1879, in Paris, France. He started as an art dealer in Paris during the 1890's. From 1904-1906 he was a drama critic for the 'L'Ermitage', and , from 1907-1910, for the 'La Grand Revue'. He earned a reputation as a well known literary critic. In 1909 he became co-founder with André Gide, Jean Schlumberger, and Paul Claudel of journal La Nouvelle Revue Francaise. Copeau also edited his new journal from 1909-1911.

Copeau opened his own theatre on Rue du Vieux Colombier, near the Place Saint Sulpice on the Left Bank, and named it after its location. The Theatre du Vieux-Colombrier was described by Copeau in his publication as "the brain-child of the group of artists whose ideological understanding and collective practical inclination brought them together under the same banner." Copeau was the actor, director, playwright and translator for his theatre. His most important productions were plays by Moliere and translations from William Shakespeare. His version of the 'Twelvth Night' (La Nuit des Rois) was premiered in 1914, starring Louis Jouvet. Copeau also produced plays by Henri Ghéon. He trained actors for his theatre and preferred staging with simplistic plain sets or the movable stage.

The beginning of the First World War forced Copeau and his actors to move from Paris to New York. From 1914-1919, Jacques Copeau worked with his company in the New York's Garrik Theatre on west 35th Street. There he produced and directed more than forty plays. In 1920 he was back in Paris and resumed seasons at the Theatre Vieux-Colombier. At that time he collaborated with poet Jules Romains. In 1924 Copeau retired from acting and moved to Burgundy. There he took a company of 30 young actors and founded a theatre school in Pernand-Verglasses. He developed a training program with the emphasis on movement, gesture, dance, and music. Copeau trained such distinguished French actors as Jean Dasté, Aman Maistre, and Etienne Decroux at his school. His student Juozas Miltinis was the founder of Panevezys Drama Theatre, one of the most interesting experimental centers of culture in Lithuania.

In 1936 Copeau was appointed one of the staff producers at the Theatre Comedie Francaise. He worked their until his retirement in 1941. Jacques Copeau died from cancer on October 20, 1949, in Beaune, France. Copeau's daughter Marie-Hélène Dasté married Jean Dasté, and founded the Association des Amis de Jacques Copeau.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Spouse (1)

Agnès Thomsen (June 1902 - 20 October 1949) ( his death) ( 2 children)

See also

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