Jean Vilar

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Jean Vilar
Born 25 March 1912
Sète, Hérault
Died 28 May 1971
Occupation Actor and director

Jean Vilar (25 March 1912, Sète, Hérault – 28 May 1971) was a French actor and theatre director.[1]

Vilar trained under actor and theatre director Charles Dullin, then toured with an acting company throughout France. His directorial career began in 1943 in a small theatre in Paris. In 1947, he accepted an invitation to direct the first annual drama festival at Avignon.

Frustrated with what he felt was the narrow élitist horizons of the theatre, he devoted himself to creating a "people's theatre" and became a dominant force in the decentralization of theatre. He created two major theatrical institutions, the Festival d'Avignon and the Théâtre National Populaire. His policy was to make theatre accessible to the greatest possible number of people.


  1. Drain, Richard (1995) Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook, Routledge

Other sources

Bardot, Jean Claude (1991) Jean Vilar. Paris: Colin.

Shevtsova, Maria (2005) Jean Vilar in Fifty Key Theatre Directors, eds Mitter, S., & In Shevtsova, M., Routledge

Téphany, J., & Barthes, R. (1995). Jean Vilar. Paris: Editions de l'Herne.