Jacques Copeau  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jacques Copeau (February 4, 1879 – October 20, 1949) was an influential French theatre director, producer, actor, and dramatist. Before he founded his famous Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in Paris, he wrote theater reviews for several Parisian journals, worked at the Georges Petit Gallery where he organized exhibits of artists' works and helped found the Nouvelle Revue Française in 1909, along with writer friends, such as André Gide and Jean Schlumberger. He eventually organized a theater school attached to his theater and thus influenced the development of theater through the training of the actor. The theater in France during the twentieth century is marked by Copeau's outlook on the theater. It is not surprising that Albert Camus, also a man of the theater, could declare without hyperbole: "in the history of the French theater, there are two periods: before Copeau and after Copeau."

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