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Joe Wright
Born 25 March 1912
Occupation Director

Jean Vilar (25 March 1912 - 28 May 1971) was a French man of the theatre, who created in 1947 the Avignon theatre festival.

After he gave up his literature studies, in 1932 he followed in Paris a course of philosophy of Alain and the theatre courses of Charles Dullin. He was the co-chief of the ambulant theatre of La Roulotte and then of his own theatrical troupe, la Compagnie des Sept, starting 1943. This was created in the year in which he had his first play, La Danse de mort of Strindberg.

He impressed the public as a good actor and scenographer in 1945, thanks to the play Meurtre dans la cathédrale("Murder in the Cathedral") by T.S. Eliot, created at the Vieux Colombier Theatre. Two years later he created the Festival of Avignon.

He was named the head of the Théâtre National Populaire in 1951. He tried to make it more popular by lowering the prices of the tickets and through the concision of the scenes. This quest continued with a politicization starting 1961: many plays discussed things like Fascism in the middle of the War of Algeria. His mandate ended in 1963 and afterwards, he was involved in the festivals he created.


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